RCIA or Not?


I was raised Catholic (baptized and received 1st Communion) but my family stopped attending church before I was confirmed. Now, I would like to return to church, and I have been attending Mass with my young son for the past month or so, but not receiving communion because I need to go to confession. Is RCIA like an adult confirmation class, or is it only for converts? How important is it to be confirmed? Since I can attend mass and receive communion, it just never really came up, but I guess that I am ready to make it more official. Is RCIA the way to go?



Well, it depends. There should be a formation process in every parish for baptized Catholic adults who need to complete their Christian initiation with first communion and/or confirmation. There should also be a process to receive non-Catholic Christians, or unbaptized adults, into the Church, and it is called RCIA. It is imporant to make the distinction between the baptized and unbaptized, and the rites each of these groups celebrate along the way in this journey do keep that distinction.

that being said, as a practical matter, most adults seeking sacraments need instruction on the same topics–the Creed, that is the beliefs and teachings of the Church, so they can make an informed profession of faith; the sacraments and liturgy so they can understand what they are requesting and share in the worship of the Church; morality and the Christian life so they can make choices and decisions with an informed conscience and conform their lives to that of Christ; and Christian prayer and spirituality so they can grow closer to God and pray with all Christians, alive or dead, in heaven, on earth, or in purgatory, as part of the communion of saints.

so in most parishes you will probably be invited to join a class to prepare for your own sacraments, and be with people who fit the various descriptions above. You will, I hope, find as most others have done that making the journey together is very beneficial spiritually on many levels.

Please see your parish priest today to get started, this is the perfect time of year.

Welcome Home.

if you have already made first communion you need only make a confession going back to your last one (make an appointment if you think it will be a long one) and return to the sacraments, and then begin preparing for confirmation as soon as the class begins in your parish.

this presumes you never formally joined another religious body (if that is the case, tell your priest and he can guide you)


Depends on your diocese and parish. I did RCIA to get confirmed at age 22, but some parishes have separate educational programs for people in your situation. Just ask to see the pastor or RE director at your parish, and they can get you started. Confession you can take care of on your own, of course…

Welcome back!:smiley:


RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is technically for those who have never been baptized and want to be Catholic. However many churches combine RCIA with people who were baptized in other denominations and want to be Catholic, and those who are already Catholic, but never completed the Sacraments of initiation. Often people in each group will need much of the same instruction and when there aren’t enough volunteers for separate classes, they get combined.

Parishes tend to run things a bit differently, mine had a separate class for those just needing confirmation, but we are large, smaller parishes with just a couple of people, will more likely combine things. They only way to find out, is call your parish and ask! :thumbsup: Explain the circumstances and they will be glad to help. :smiley:

And welcome home! :extrahappy:


Nikki, I just completed RCIA. I was very critical of the way it was done and the liberal slant of the church I joined. We had a large group (19 candidates and catechumens), the sponsors, helpers and supporters, etc. There was never enough time to do the things I thought we needed.

Now, after joining the church, I can see I got exactly what I needed. I have genuine affection for all the participants. Our final meeting, a pot-luck dinner, is tomorrow night and I’m really looking forward to it.

There is more there than meets the eye. Why don’t you meet with the class leader and try it for a couple months?


You mention a son, but do not mention a spouse.

If you are married, in addition to pursuing Confirmation you should discuss convalidating your marriage-- if you were married outside the Church-- with your priest.


Well everyone, thanks for the info. This is a pretty large parish, so they might actually have an adult confirmation class, I will check into that. Unfortunately, I am not married, so no marriage convalidation to worry about.


We had a number of individuals in our RCIA class who were in your exact situation. They didn’t go the full year but rather about 6 months (Oct to Easter) and were then confirmed along with the Baptised Converts at the Easter Vigil.

It was actually very enjoyable and educational for both them at the converts. I say this because our Faith is a Community and just because you get confirmed and can start recieving the Eucharist doesn’t mean that the light will continue to shine without becoming part of your Parish.

RCIA is a great way to do that, to make friends and find out what is going on that you can get involved in as well as brush up on some traditions and beliefs you may have missed growing up.

I would highly recommend it.



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