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Dear RCIA children (and parents and sponsors),

The process you are in has not ended, nor will it end even after you receive your sacraments. This journey we call the “Initiation Process” is only the beginning.

RCIAAdapted for Children

Pre-Catechumenate : Inquirer

You have not celebrated the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. You are still curious and wondering if this is what you desire, to be full member of the Catholic Church. You may still be just beginning to develop an understanding of God and building a relationship with Him. Prayer might still be very tentative and sporadic.


Catechumenate : Catechumen

You have celebrated the Rite of Acceptance. You are officially learning the basic doctrines, beliefs and practices, of the Catholic Faith. You are building your relationship with God, especially Jesus, whom you have accepted as your personal Lord and Savior. You may not understand all that you are learning, and it is difficult to remember it all – there is SO MUCH! But, you have a particular desire to become a member of the Catholic Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Your prayer life is growing and developing.

Faith Formation / Catechesis

Purification and Enlightenment : Elect

You have become one of the Elect through the Rite of Election. You are focused on the spiritual aspect of the faith – you desire that Jesus saves you from your sin and gives you the gift of Eternal Life in the sacraments. The time spent in this stage is to help you develop your conscience, prayer life, and relationship with Jesus. You anticipate your Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist with joy and excitement, the Holy Spirit is working in you, preparing you for that glorious day!

Prayer and Discernment

Mystogogy : Neophyte

You have received your Sacraments of Initiation and now you are learning how to be an active member of the Church – at the parish and within the context of society. You are discerning what ministry or ministries God may be calling you to join and participate, you are celebrating the Mass fully, receiving Communion with your fellow Catholics, you are learning that the journey to holiness does not end with your Baptism, but continues until you reach heaven. You may also be learning and preparing to go to your First Reconciliation.

Ongoing Formation

Whatever stage you are in...

…Prayer and building your relationship with God is your number one priority. To assist you in this there are many resources that we want to share with you. Some are print resources, others are web-based audio and video resources. Our prayer for you is that you stay in contact with your RCIA leader and team at your parish to receive the best possible support and care.

To the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit!

Beth Cowles, MACE

Lead Catechist

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Free Resources

To the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit!

Browse our complete set of resources below. Categorized for easy finding, we constantly update these offerings with items on our site and from around the web.

Find the RCIA explanation from the USCCB HERE

Find the RCIA explanation from the St. James Cathedral HERE