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OCIA 

Order of Christian Initiation for Adults  

(formally RCIA) 

 

OCIA is the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (formerly called RCIA, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is the process by which adults enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Each year a group of people join together to learn about Catholicism and how to practice the faith well. Near the end of the journey, those who aren't members of the Catholic Church have the opportunity to join the Church. It is a powerful and engaging process.  

Who should join OCIA? 

Anyone interested in learning more about the Catholic faith is welcome to come to any or all of our OCIA sessions. For Catholics, this is an opportunity to grow in understanding and practice the faith in a more profound way.  

Those who are not Catholic but who are interested in joining the Church are especially welcome to join OCIA. Some participants are baptized in other Christian faiths and want to come into communion with the Church. We also have unbaptized individuals seeking to be baptized. Anyone over the age of 7 who is not baptized will experience OCIA. Typically we have an adult cohort and a youth cohort or learners that meet at different times.  

What do I do if I am interested? 

You should contact Sandee Kremers at 320-252-1363 or skremers@stfrancissartell.org.   

Inquiry Sessions 

Watch for new inquiry session dates this August/September. 

Exactly How Does OCIA Work? 

On this journey, there are four phases or periods. The end of each of the first three phases or periods is marked by a Rite.   

 

1.       Inquiry: 

You are an inquirer. You have the opportunity to learn and ask questions of your O.C.I.A. team and yourself. Listen with the ear of your heart. The first part of this journey ends with deciding that you want to know more. You want to be welcomed as a Candidate (seeking Confirmation) or accepted as a Catechumen (seeking the Sacraments of Initiation). 

After this Rite you are accepted by the Church as someone who is looking into becoming a full member of the Catholic Church. You are also accepting the Church as the place where you will be able to most fully approach the truth of who God is and what he has planned for you. This is a mutual agreement between you and the Church. 

2.    Formation 

You are formed and informed in the teachings and way of life which is the Catholic faith. This period ends with the Rite of Election (the First Sunday of Lent). You become an elect or chosen ones to go on and journey further. (As with the Rite of Acceptance it is a mutual agreement between you and the Church.) 

3.    Enlightenment and Purification 

During this part of the journey you will go through a period of enlightenment. You become more aware of and responsive to the Holy Spirit working in your life. This part of the journey culminates in membership with us - being accepted as full members of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil during the Rite of Initiation. At this Rite, the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) are celebrated. 

Baptism for those not yet baptized in a Christian faith tradition (Catechumen) 

Confirmation and First Eucharist for those who are newly baptized and for those who already have been baptized (Candidate). 

4.    Mystagogy 

It is a period following entrance into the Church where all that you have just gone through on the journey is reviewed and further explored – both in your head and in your heart. It is a period of going deeper into a faith whose depth is limitless. It will begin right after Easter and ideally it will last a lifetime. 

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