St. Jude Catholic Parish - South Bend, Indiana


What is RCIA?

The process for inquiring adults to explore the possibility of entering into deeper relationship with Christ in the Catholic faith. Through prayer, study, and liturgical rites candidates are gradually introduced to central beliefs and practices of Catholicism.

Whom is it for?

RCIA is for any unconfirmed adult interested in learning more about Roman Catholicism. This includes curious individuals simply who want more information, as well as those seeking full communion with the Church in the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.

What sort of topics does it cover?

Beliefs, Practices, Prayer, and the Christian Life. Topics include faith, revelation, the Trinity, Jesus Christ, the Church, the Sacraments, Sacred Scripture (the Bible), Mary, the Saints, liturgy, and vocation.

What are the stages?

Inquiry: A period for persons to ask and engage questions they have about Catholicism. Inquirers explore relationship with Jesus Christ, encounter the Gospel, and learn about the basics of Catholic faith.

Catechumenate: This is a period of catechesis (instruction) on the core teachings of the Catholic Church for catechumens (non-baptized) and candidates (baptized). This is the longest aspect of RCIA.

Purification & Enlightenment: A period of final preparation marked by prayer, study, and spiritual guidance, and prayers by the parish communities for those to be confirmed. Particular focus is given to preparation for receiving the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist).

Mystagogy: New members of the Church reflect on their experiences at the Easter Vigil and continue to learn more about Scripture, the Sacraments, and Church teachings. Additionally they reflect on how they will serve Christ through the Church's mission and outreach activities.

What if I am already baptized?

RCIA is also for all people desiring to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Those who have been baptized in another Christian denomination (e.g. Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, etc.), or in the Catholic Church yet have not been confirmed, would go through RCIA, but will have some variations in preparation.

Will I need any specific materials?

All books, articles, and other materials are provided by the Office of Faith Formation.

How long does it last?

How long the overall process lasts “depends on how the person is growing in faith, what questions they encounter along the way, and how God leads them on this journey” (USCCB). The person seeking Confirmation discusses and discerns this with the Director of Faith Formation.

General schedule:
Inquiry: August
Catechumenate: September – 1st Week of Lent
Purification & Enlightenment: Lent – Good Friday
Confirmation normally occurs at the Saturday Easter Vigil, but for well-founded reasons other arrangements can be made.
Mystagogy: Easter – Pentecost

Who teaches RCIA?

Each session will be led by our Faith Formation Director or Fr. John, assisted by a team of parish members who help support those going through RCIA.

When does it meet?

RCIA sessions are held Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:00. We usually meet in the Catherine Sienna Conference room. Occasionally we meet in the school art room. The Faith Formation Director announces any changes to the usual agenda, in advance, to participants.

Are you, a friend, or a loved one thinking about becoming Catholic? Contact our Faith Formation Director to find out about the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults ("RCIA") and the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children ("RCIC") of Baptismal Age. Please contact our Faith Formation Director, Dr. Donna Adler at (574) 291-0570, Ext 308 to set up a meeting for an introduction to the process. Please feel free to attend one of our currently running sessions to get a taste of the course now in process.

RCIA classes are currentlly held at St. Jude Parish (typically the Catherine Siena Conference Room and sometimes the school art room with advance notification) on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Please call the Faith Formation Director in advance if you would like to visit.