OCIA (Order of Christian Initiation for Adults)
What is OCIA?
OCIA is the process for someone, over the age of 7, who is interested in learning more about the Catholic faith and possibly becoming Catholic.
Who is OCIA for?
OCIA is for any person who is interested in learning more about the Catholic faith.
What happens in the RCIA process?
A person begins their journey in Inquiry, a time to ask questions about the Catholic faith and how we practice our Catholic faith. We might talk about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Mass, the Bible—any questions our Inquirers have. Inquiry is the time to ask a lot of questions as the Inquirer tries to discern if this is the path God is calling them to follow.
The second stage is the Catechumenate. In this period, our Catechumens learn about basic Catholic teachings such as Sacraments and the Creed, Scripture, Prayer, and what it means to live your life as a Catholic.
The third stage is Purification and Enlightenment and occurs during Lent. This is the time our catechumens look intently at their lives and commit to making changes just as we as the Church community use the Lenten season for our own inner reflection.
At the Easter Vigil Mass, our catechumens receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. They are now fully initiated into the Catholic Church.
Mystagogy is the final part of the OCIA process. At the Easter Vigil Mass, our catechumens are fully initiated into the Catholic faith. Even after months of preparation, our neophytes, though, are still learning about their new faith and “how to be Catholic”. Mystagogy supports our neophytes for a year to help them strengthen their faith as they become part of our faith community.
The transition to a new phase of the process is marked by a Rite (ritual) that occurs during a Sunday Mass. These Rites are an opportunity for our parish, as a faith community, to support our catechumens, to pray for them and to liturgically mark this special time in their journey. These Rites provide an opportunity for our catechumens to experience Liturgy as an integral part of who we are as Catholics.