Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
— 2 Corinthians 5:17
Interested in the faith?
Or returning after a long absence?
You are welcome here.
We Christians are people on the road with Jesus Christ proclaiming the good news of salvation in the ways we live. The Church welcomes all to join this journey of faith and has a long history of receiving new as well as returning members. The time of acquaintance and formation for those who themselves want to know the faith is now known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. "Initiation" here means beginning a new phase of life, indeed a new life in Christ. "Rite" here means a period of learning and then accepting something, or perhaps Someone, one discovers as life's new meaning and purpose.
Does it seem like a lot to take in at once? Don't be nervous. Below are some common questions and answers that might help you.
Who is eligible for participating in RCIA?
Anyone over the age of 18 can enroll.
For children or high school students who need the Sacraments, there are separate programs from Nativity's Religious Education department. Please see www.nativityore.org for more information.
All right, what can I expect in class?
Entering the faith is a very serious commitment, to say the least. But don't you worry: we've got lots of fun in store for you. A typical session consists of discussions on the Sunday's Gospel and lectures on a specific topic each week.
During class, you are welcome to ask as many questions as you would like. Think, imagine, wonder, reason, debate: it's an intellectually rich space created expressly for this purpose.
You won't go hungry—spiritually speaking—but in case your stomach feels empty by mid-morning, we have donuts and other treats every week.
I'm scared! I have no knowledge of the Catholic faith at all. Will I do all right?
Please don't be disheartened. This is where you begin! Our students come from all backgrounds. We are here to answer your questions and address your concerns all the way through, so there is no need to feel ashamed.
You've come a long way already. Our team—and God, of course—will always be there for you .
I have all my Sacraments, but it has been a long time since I've attended a Catholic church. Can I benefit from this program?
You are more than welcome to join us for class. Returning to the faith can be a very challenging process in itself, and we truly admire your courage.
Please know that God calls us all to return to Him. His love for us never falters, no matter how long we have been away.
What if I was married outside the Catholic Church?
You're seeking a validation, which is not a part of what RCIA does. Please talk to a priest here at Nativity for assistance first.
The priest will help to make sure how this class can serve you and your spouse to become full members of the Church.
What is the cost of the course?
There will be a small charge to cover the materials we use in class, but you will not need to purchase another Catholic Bible if you have one already.
Please let us know if you have any special circumstances. The word of God is meant to be shared with everyone, regardless of financial situations or background.
How do I enroll?
Enrollment takes place in August to get ready for class in September. Information will be posted in the weekly bulletin in August.
Sent us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive an inquiry form with instruction. You may also call the parish office at 310.328.2776 and make an appointment to speak with a priest.
Please contact us as soon as possible to begin the class on time.
How long does the course last?
Conversion is a process that happens daily over a lifetime, even for those of us who came from Catholic families!
To answer your question in a more literal sense: different parishes have different approaches. At Nativity we meet every Sunday, except holy days and holidays. It starts in September and ends the following May, much like a school year—which is very fitting, because we're all enthusiastic learners here.
Where and when do the classes take place?
RCIA students attend the 8am Mass. The first few front pews on the right side of the church are reserved just for you.
Class takes place in the Annex at the other end of the block (1415 Engracia Avenue), from 9:15 to 11:30.
There will be one Lenten retreat in spring that will take place away from our church. It is optional, though we highly encourage you to attend. Everything else takes place here.
What do I need to bring?
Just a pen, notebook, and your class materials. It also helps tremendously to bring your best spirit of learning and a big smile.
What if I was baptized already, but not in the Catholic Church?
Great question! If you have received Baptism in another Christian denomination, it is valid in the Catholic Church as long as it was completed with water and the Trinitarian formula.
Please bring your Baptism certificate with you when class starts.
If you have already had First Holy Communion, please bring the certificate as well.
So what exactly does this program lead up to?
This class will be preparing you for Baptism, Holy Communion, and Confirmation—the three sacraments that bring you into full communion with the Church.
The Rite of Initiation—the reception of these sacraments— will take place here at the Easter Vigil, which is the evening before Easter Sunday.
In case you have received a valid Baptism already, but have not received the other sacraments, Confirmation will take place with other confirmandi at a later date set by the bishop's office.
One thing to make you smile: you won't get graded. We're just here to support you unconditionally.
Here's a reassurance of how much you'll love the class: some of our students have come back to be volunteers on the RCIA team.
I can't wait! What should I do before class starts in the fall?
We couldn't be any happier to hear that. The Holy Spirit is working in your heart already.
Write us at email@example.com for a welcome letter and more information.
THE RCIA TEAM