Where do I start?

Let me preface this by saying I am very grateful to be standing where I am. That is, at the beginning of an amazing journey! I became a Christian on August 15th of this year and because of that experienced some huge personal breakthroughs, which I will not get in to here. Now I want a closer relationship with God, and I have found myself lead to the Catholic Church because I feel it provides me with the greatest opportunity for spiritual growth. I feel that this is very much on my path.

So I have been researching and I picked a Church that is conveniently located between home, work and school, and I found out about RCIA and I haven’t called yet but I intend to tomorrow morning. I realize that I could just wait and talk to someone on the phone in the morning but I’m anxious…

It looks like most RCIA courses begin in August. Can I attend Church even though I am not Initiated? If I go weekly between now and next August, will I need to do the RCIA, won’t I have a lot of the information already? Does everyone do the formal RCIA before joining and receiving Baptism?

Hi, Cassandra!

Welcome Home! :hug3:
:extrahappy::extrahappy::extrahappy:

…please understand that the requirements of RCIA are for your benefit… the Church wants you to have a solid understanding of the Faith… through the RCIA program you are going to be exposed to Catholic Doctrine (the Sacraments, our Faith, the Mass…); it is your elementary exposure to our Faith, hence Baptism is usually offered at the conclusion of the program.

…not certain of it–if you are in a hurry to embrace the Faith, if you have the basic understanding of Catholicism, and if you are a quick learner, you might be able to ask the local Catholic Bishop for special induction… (I think this happens mostly when the convert comes from a similar religious body as some Anglicans who practice the Roman Rite, etc.); check out the following link on RCIA study guides:

wakingupcatholic.com/waking-up-your-faith/rcia-rite-of-christian-initiation-of-adults/rcia-online-resources.html

…attending the Mass is a great exposure to you; the Priest (and most parishioners) will be more than glad to assist you in your trek!

…if you are able, visit that parish which you’ve mentioned a few minutes prior to the scheduled Mass so that you may speak with the Priest–there are usually a few old ladies praying the Rosary near the altar… approach them and let them know that you want to experience God through our Catholic Faith; they will be quite delighted and offer you all sorts of Sacramentals (Rosary, Novenas, prayer booklets, scapulars…); they will invite you to say the Rosary and to meet with them for prayers…

Please, feel free to post questions as you further your Faith quest!

Maran atha!

Angel

This should help you a bit.
How to Become a Catholic

Welcome to the shores of the Tiber! :thumbsup:

Keep in mind that some folks are actually in RCIA who will greatly help others in the program…you may be one of them.:slight_smile:

Certainly you can and should attend Mass all during RCIA and that will be especially important during the last month before Easter when you come into the church. Please understand that until you finish RCIA that you will need to not take communion. You can discuss this with your priest but there is a great section of Ecclesia de Eucharistia (Note especially sections 43-46)

You might also start looking into areas of ministry that you might want to help with…you might even be able to assist with future RCIA classes, but the harvest is always great and the laborers few so keep those needs in mind.

Welcome Home! RCIA programs vary from parish to parish, speak to the pastor as soon as possible and find out if you are in time to receive your sacraments in April. If not, do not worry about it, the Eucharist is well worth waiting for and the time will go by quickly. You ae most welcome to attend Mass anytime you feel ready to go. Actually, you can do everything Catholics do except receive communion. RCIA is the normal way for non-Catholics to be received into the Church. It may sound like a burden, but it is really the best way. You will learn a lot about the faith, meet new people and become involved in parish life.

Like Catholic1954 said, I encourage you to speak with the priest ASAP. Don’t let anyone deter you, not the office staff, not the church secretary, not the rcia staff or director or even a deacon. You need to talk to the priest.

Here is the online version of the Catholic Catechism

usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/

I wish you well in your journey.

Since you seem to have picked a starting place i suggest you attend a Saturday evening Mass.Usually our priest will greet every one when they leave. Or just hang around after Mass and talk to the priest about setting up an appointment that works for both of you. Or you could try to attend a weekday Mass and approach the priest afterwards.

You may attend Mass all you want. You will not yet be able to receive Holy Communion.

Welcome home to Christ’s Church! :smiley: Each of us have come through many such experiences and found the same thing–depth of spirituality and truth in the Church.

So I have been researching and I picked a Church that is conveniently located between home, work and school, and I found out about RCIA and I haven’t called yet but I intend to tomorrow morning. I realize that I could just wait and talk to someone on the phone in the morning but I’m anxious…

The only snag with you picking a parish is that you may not live within the boundaries of that parish. Therefore, that parish may not be able to accept you into it’s RCIA program. You should contact the diocese to find out in which parish territory you live. Catholic parishes are not independently run churches. Each parish has a territory in which it operates. So, you should find out in which parish you reside. :slight_smile:

It looks like most RCIA courses begin in August. Can I attend Church even though I am not Initiated? If I go weekly between now and next August, will I need to do the RCIA, won’t I have a lot of the information already? Does everyone do the formal RCIA before joining and receiving Baptism?

You most certainly may attend Mass or any other liturgy of the Church until you start RCIA. Indeed, it will help familiarize you with the Mass. A good book on the meaning of the Mass is “The Lamb’s Supper: The Mass As Heaven on Earth” by Scott Hahn. Not everyone needs to attend RCIA to be received into the Church. You should talk to the parish’s pastor to determine the best course for you. Some parishes do not have any other means of being prepared for reception into the Church. It can vary widely. If you have not yet been baptized you will be a catechumen. Parishes usually encourage catechumens to go through RCIA even if the person has done a lot of reading. There’s more to being received into the Church than knowledge because becoming Catholic means becoming one with the body of Christ, not merely giving intellectual assent to beliefs.

All the best to you in your faith journey. You have my prayers.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.