RCIA; How long does it take to become Catholic?

RCIA; How long does it take to become Catholic?

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RCIA : The Process of becoming a Catholics

The process is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), so you may see that referenced. By adults, it includes anyone over about 8 years of age, but there are usually different groups for older children, teens, and adults.

For someone converting to Christianity, you will enter the Catholic Church by baptism at the Easter Vigil, the night before Easter Sunday. Normally the preparation process should take a minimum of one full year, sometimes longer or a little shorter depending on how long you have been thinking about this, what your understanding of Christianity is, etc. During this process you are known as a catechumen – one who is learning about the faith.

For someone who is already Christian, a variation is available. It is generally faster, and can be as short as a few weeks or as long as a year, depending on your tradition, background, etc. Normally you would be brought into full communion sometimes during the Easter season, but it could be any time of the year, really. During this process you are a candidate for full communion.

Strictly speaking, “conversion” is only for non-Christians becoming Christian. For candidates, as you are already Christian, you do not “convert”. But we don’t really have a handy name for the move.\

Whether there are any costs associated with the program is up to the individual parish, but most in my experience consider it a part of their core ministry and do not charge anything. Even if they do, the fee is never very large, and if it is in itself a barrier, would be waived.

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