Registration and Basic Information
You do not need to register to start classes. Whether you are interested simply in learning more about the Catholic Faith or becoming a fully confirmed member of the Catholic Church, the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program is for you. This class is also for you whether you have no religious background, are a baptized non-Catholic, or a Catholic seeking baptism and/or confirmation.
RCIA is a discernment process to help people experience the fullness of the Faith. Our desire is for people to confidently enter full communion of Faith and to feel the warm embrace of the Church family.
This does not mean attendants must be committed to entering the Church when they join. In fact, they are welcome to be a part of RCIA for the whole year without the intention of joining the Church. But if you are looking to be a full member of the Church with the Sacraments, this needs to be communicated and discerned with the instructor by the start of the spring semester; of course, the sooner the better.
If you are baptized and intend to join the Church, please send us a copy of your Baptismal Certificate, or call your church of baptism to send us one. This is one of those cases in which it is perfectly acceptable for an adult to ask mom for help.
We will receive new members into the Church on the Easter Vigil, Saturday night, April 20, 2019 at St. Paul’s.
Additional information about RCIA is available from the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops (click here).
Already Baptized and Practicing the Faith?
Though RCIA is a great way to join the Church, some are baptized as Christians and have a significant level religious instruction, spiritual formation, and involvement in the Church. Respectful of individual needs, please email Fr. Joseph (click here) to discuss other options for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Meetings are Tuesdays from 7:00-8:15 pm downstairs in the North/South Rooms adjacent to Higgins Hall (the cafeteria). Classes begin September 4, 2018.
Because many of our RCIA students attend Indiana University or work there, we simply follow IU’s schedule. When they begin, we begin. When they are on break, so are we.
Jesus by his life, work and teachings (e.g., Mathew 25:31-46) emphasizes the importance of service to those in need. This is an integral part of our faith. To be a Catholic is to serve. We ask those seeking full membership to the Catholic Church to perform at least 10 hours of service work with an approved organization, preferably, but not necessarily, a Catholic program.
Becoming Catholic is not simply a mental consent to believe in the things the Church teaches or that it is the Church that Jesus Christ founded (Matthew 16:18). The Church not only has an institutional element by which She formally welcomes new members into the Body of Christ, there is also the mystical, a heart-to-heart element. Church members personally welcome men and women into the Faith and guide them through the traditions and cultures which have helped millions of people fall deeply in love with the God Who loved them first.
A Sponsor is a part of the mystical body of the Church, a Catholic in good standing with the Institutional Church, who personally welcomes a new member. This may be a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a parishioner selected by St. Paul’s staff or volunteers to meet the needs of the new member. The Sponsor agrees to attend some of the ceremonies of initiation, especially the Easter vigil. In some special occasions, a proxy can represent the sponsor if the sponsor is unable to attend an event.
While some students commented that there was too much information, others expressed wishes for more content. We will have an optional Wednesday night class in the Stephen's Room at 8 pm called Apologetics 101. This is also helpful for people who feel attacked for their beliefs. Everyone is invited to come learn more about why the Church teaches what She teaches. Topics include the Existence of God, Apostolic Authority, Priesthood, Eucharist, Confession, Scandals, Theology of the Body, Homosexuality, Mary and the Saints, and Purgatory. If you have the opportunity, please let us know you are coming so we can better prepare: click here.