Do all RCIA classes start in September & end near Easter?? Are some more flexible than others?? Can you join in the middle of the RCIA year & then finish the next RCIA class??
Ideally you should be able to join RCIA year round, they should be starting class on a regular basis. This doesn’t always work out due to real life problems like a lack of volunteers.
As for how things work at your local parish, you will just have to ask them. Sometimes they will let you join a bit late and just help you catch up, sometimes they will let you join the group, but encourage you to participate the whole next year before receiving the sacraments, and sometimes they will encourage you to participate in other activities in the parish, and wait until next year to join RCIA. What they should not do is totally blow you off.
It may also depend on exactly where you are in your faith journey. For someone who has had a lot of exposure to the Catholic faith and is obviously committed to being Catholic, just letting them join and helping them catch up on what they missed may be fine. For someone who has had little exposure to the faith and lots of questions, a full year, or more, of RCIA will most likely be a good thing.
Assuming this is a personal question, really the only way to get it answered in a concrete form is to call your parish and ask them.
every parish has its own sytem, according to their resources, but RCIA should be year round and should welcome inquirers at any time during the year. From the time inquirers enter the catechumentate their instruction should take one liturgical year, but in practice, most parishes celebrate a rite of acceptance into the order of the catechumenate sometime in the fall, when catechumens (the unbaptized) begin their formal study and preparation, with a more intense spiritual preparation during Lent, and sacraments at Easter.
This should be followed by regular mystagogy instruction for a minimum of 50 days (7 weeks) after Easter, but the neophytes should have some formal gatherings and support throughout the year following their reception. Those who come to inquire throughout the year generally participate in “Inquiry” or Pre-evangelization, a less formal course of study and questioning, before deciding to embark on the formal preparation, or catechumenate, beginning whenever they like during the year. If they start “too late” to allow enough time for that process, they would be welcomed into the catechumenate when ready, and prepared for the next Easter.
The only way to find out is to call the Catholic parishes around year. The ideal is not always the practice, we do what we are able and what we must.
How long does it take? as long as it takes.
Not everyone starts from the same place, not everyone’s journey runs the same course.
It depends on your parish and all you can do is ask.
Many parishes have RCIA scheduled like a school year, starting in September.
In my parish RCIA runs year round. We have Inquiry sessions several times a year and celebrate the Rites of Acceptance and Welcoming several times a year. Our catechumens (people seeking baptism) spend a full year in the catechumenate, so someone starting now would be baptized at the Easter Vigil of 2011.
no, yes, and maybe.
all depends on your local (parish) circumstances
Thanks to everyone who answered. God has answered a prayer I didn’t even know how to ask: my 33 year old son ask me about how to become a Catholic!! I have been praying for my family for over a year and last August my husband was baptized (in a different faith) & my son wants to be a Catholic!! He has been talking to his wife & she is also concidering it!! In some ways my life has become much more difficult since I have “come home”, but as you can see, some things have definately become better!! I firmly believe in the power of prayer!!