What to expect from RCIA classes

I will be attending my first RCIA class. What can I expect? Any suggestions?

…Scottish Monk


I just had my first RCIA 2 days ago. Here’s how it went.

Our Pastoral Minister gave a brief prayer for the 9/11 victims and we all gave a testimony about who we are and how we came to seek the Catholic Faith.

Afterwards the Sponsors gave their testimony and how they came or embraced their Catholic Faith.

Then the Pastoral Minister handed out 2 books “We Believe…A Survey of the Catholic Faith” and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” and said that next week the Bibles he ordered should arrive and we will receive them.

He then spoke to us about the Catechism book and how to interpret and read it (ie in the paragraphs there are footnotes for Catholic documents to reference, there are references to the Scripture to point out the justification of the Catholic teaching and cross-references to other parts in the book; also the time lines of Vatican Councils, the index, glossary and bibliography of Popes and Saints). He then joked that the Catechism book is far better and easier to use than the internet.

He the went on the process of becoming a Catholic, what we’ll be doing in the following Liturgical Year and how it’s not “you do the classes and you’re a Catholic” and how it’s a process and you can leave any time you want if you feel you are not ready.

Overall it was just a large prologue into the RCIA.

Afterwards we had cupcakes and coffee (which being a Lutheran I was estatic, nothing better than coffee in a church rectory talking about the Christian Faith :D) and then we got to see the Priest (which I joked to a Catholic RCIA Sponsor who said "I’m in the fan club for this priest, he is wonderful.’ — having never met him I felt the need to say something to an agreement – I said “Well maybe it’s the Lutheran in me, but he has the 'stache so he’s good in my book.” :thumbsup:)

Afterwards the Pastoral Minister gave us our homework for the week and closed with an Our Father prayer.

Really I was very nervous at first, but the people were wonderful and opening, I can’t wait to go back next Tuesday! I highly recommend it, you won’t be dissipointed :slight_smile:

Congratulations on joining RCIA!

I’ve just begun as well, and I’ve done two classes so far. It’s been casual and fun. There’s coffee and donuts as well :smiley:

We were given two books, one is to read by chapter and the other is tied into the first book that we can answer questions in, give our thoughts, etc. At the end of each class we’re given “homework” assignments that involve reading a chapter, or half a chapter then the next class we go over what we read and are asked questions, see if we understand or agree/disagree with what we’re learning.

So far so good! Good luck to you!


As Austen said, the first night is probably going to be mostly introductions of the team, sponsors, clergy, etc.

Our sessions are 2 hours long. 1 hour is devoted to the topic at hand, then we break into small groups for refreshments, and to discuss what was presented, and finally we go back for any follow up, and Q & A.

We use a different course book, called “Essentials of the Faith”, along with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Bible.

The first few weeks of RCIA consist of the very basics of what we believe, and is essentially an inquiry stage, and then it progresses from there with the Rite of Acceptance, deeper doctrines. Then you have the Rite of Election, and Call to Conversion (at the beginning of Lent). In our parish, this is a real time for discernment. We cover things like Reconciliation, Adoration, etc.

Keep in mind, you can pull out at any time. No pressure. Also keep in mind, that there is always clergy available for you too. (or should be)

99% of our team is converts, including me, and I’m the Lay Director. We know what it’s like to be right where you are.

I may be a little different than most RCIA Directors, because I make it a point to attend other church services, talk to their ministers, etc. in order to gain a better understanding of where our class participants are coming from theologically.

Enjoy, and welcome home!!

Oh yeah, we eat very well too!! If you leave our RCIA hungry, it’s your own fault…:stuck_out_tongue:

We started RCIA Aug. 7th. The first week was an introduction, meeting everyone and the team. I had already met one of the team members and a few of the RCIA attendees through inquiry classes I’d been attending since April.
We were given an outline and schedule of the meetings and events. We also received a book called Believing in Jesus by Leonard Foley. We will be receiving a bible at the end of Sept. when we do our rites.

The second meeting was a group of slides about RCIA and history of the Catholic Church.
The 3rd was a potluck dinner, and a wonderful tour of the Church. Our Church is a Basilica with a lot of fascinating history.
The 5th was a member of the Church and wonderful speaker who discussed Mary, as Mother of God.
The 4th was a review of Chapter 1 in our book “the Old Testament”
The 6th was a review of Chapter 2 “the New Testament” and how they tie together.
Now they said we’d skip around in this book. When we review each area, we discuss as a large group and then break off and discuss as small groups to answer questions.

There is no pressure for anyone to speak. So if you are nervous, don’t be. It’s fun and learn at your pace. Everyone is wonderful, welcoming. Some, I’ve noticed came to the first 2 meetings and I haven’t seen them since, and others are just beginning to join.

Next week we will prepare for Rites, which will be Sun Sept. 30th, Here we will be introduced to the Church people. We were also given an assignment with lots of Questions on it regarding “where we have been”, so they can see what our learning needs are. We were also asked to call the RCIA director at some point and make an appointment for a meeting with this person. I went to a meeting with her and it was totally relaxed. She needs to know where we’ve come from, our religious background, and our learning needs. She asked us to bring our baptismal certificate, if we’ve been baptized.
Enjoy, learn at your own pace.
Oh, and I noticed throughout the calendar given to us, that there seems to be many, many potlucks. LOL

Scottish Monk,

Catholics here will give you an abundance of help and support.

Prayers for your journey,

Congratulations :slight_smile:
I am also in RCIA.
As stated by others the first one is to get to know each other. We were also taught the sign of the cross at the first class.
Advice: take a note pad and pen. Study at home, there will be a lot of information given in a short time. The forums here can be quite helpful!.
Ask questions. its why your there.

God bless you in your jouney!

Bless all of you going through RCIA!!

Welcome Home!!

yay! Scottish Monk:)
hope it goes well.

It really depends on your class. It may be a good class, or it may be a bad one.

Hopefully you were set up with a good, loyal group!!!

If you have any unanswered questions I’d suggest you bring it here to CAF. The people here would be happy to answer. :smiley:

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