Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Are forms needed for RCIA? Yes. There are RCIA intake forms for both adults and children listed on our website. https://www.diocs.org/Offices/Office-of-the-Chancellor (under “Related Documents”)
  2. Can the leader of RCIA fill out these forms? Only clergy and qualified lay leaders may fill out the RCIA intake forms. The baptismal and marriage information on this form needs to be critically looked at, hence the requirement that only qualified personnel who are trained in those areas can fill it out.
  3. Is there a book on RCIA? Yes. It is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
  4. What about the new Order of Christian Initiation of Adults that I’ve heard about recently? This new book will not be out until at least the spring of 2023, if not much later. For now, exclusively use the current RCIA book.
  5. Is there anything that I should change now to the current RCIA process before the new Order of Christian Initiation of Adults comes out?  No. Continue to use only the information in the current RCIA book.
  6. Can fully initiated Catholics join RCIA? In general, no, fully initiated Catholics should not be placed in RCIA sessions. Offer an RCIA-like alternative for them…a Catholic refresher class of sorts. Or better yet, ask them to be a sponsor for someone in RCIA!
  7. Does the diocese provide training on the RCIA process? Yes we do. In the short term, contact Gary Niemerg, the Director of Catechesis, Evangelization and Youth Ministry if you have any questions. In the long term, we hope to offer formal classes on RCIA. Stay tuned!
  8. Do the already baptized Christians in RCIA sign the Book of the Elect? No. The enrollment of names in the Rite of Election is only for the unbaptized. This is the Bishop’s promise that those persons will be initiated into Christ and the Church at the next Easter Vigil. Baptized candidates, by their baptism, are already initiated into Christ so they are not included in the book. However, their desire to complete their initiation, or to join into the full communion of the Catholic Church, is recognized at the Rite of Election. (RCIA 454)
  9.  Should unbaptized children in RCIA receive all three sacraments of initiation, or should their Confirmation be delayed until 8th Grade? Yes, they should receive all three sacraments of initiation. Once children have reached the age of reason (approx. 7 years old), they are no longer candidates for The Order of Baptism of Children. They are considered adults and should use the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process.
  10.  What about a child, say a 4th Grader, who was baptized Catholic as an infant, but didn’t receive the sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Eucharist in 2nd grade? Should he/she receive the Sacrament of Confirmation in the RCIA for Children process or wait until the approved age/grade dictated by the diocese which is currently 8th Grade? We suggest having them wait until 8th grade to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. However, parents can ask for their child to receive the sacrament earlier. It is up to the pastor to grant this permission, with Bishop Golka’s approval, for an earlier reception of the sacrament.
  11. Is there really a Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC)? No. The reception of children who have reached catechetical age (age of reason, approx. 7 years old) into the Catholic Church follows the same process as for the adults. There is no separate process for children age 7 or older. Concerning which rite(s) to use, they are considered adults and should follow the RCIA process, not the infant baptism process. It is actually a part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) found in “Part II: Rites for Particular Circumstances.” So technically, it should be called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults for Children, or RCIA for Children. However, even though they are considered “adults” with regard to which process to use, they need age-appropriate catechesis.
  12. How long should the RCIA process last? It depends. For already baptized and catechized individuals, it could be weeks. For others who are unbaptized and uncatechized, it could be years (RCIA 7). This is where it is important to get to know your RCIA participants well in the initial interview and by spending time with them outside of the classroom sessions. Where are they in their faith journey? The RCIA book gives you guidance on what to look for, what are the indications, that they are ready to advance in the process (i.e. Rite of Acceptance and Rite of Election).
  13. What is a good website where we can learn more about the RCIA process?A favorite is TeamRCIA. https://rcia-resources.teamrcia.com
  14. What are some recommended materials/programs out there for RCIA?
    • ​​The Association of Catechumenal Ministry (ACM) materials are top notch and once purchased, copies of their extensive computer files can printed for life for free! https://acmrcia.org
    • The Symbolon program put out by the Augustine Institute is also very good. https://watch.formed.org/symbolon-the-catholic-faith-explained
    • There are many great supplements to either of the programs mentioned above. They include Bishop Barron’s “Catholicism” series and his Word on Fire website, lots of great offerings on FORMED.org, and many others. Feel free to contact Gary Niemerg for more information on these and other programs.
    • Of course, every RCIA participant should have a Bible and a Catechism of the Catholic Church. Recommended Bibles are either the New American edition (translation used at Mass) or the Revised Standard Version-Catholic Edition (RSV-CE). There are other good translations as well. The best Bible is one that you will actually read!

Gary Niemerg, gniemerg@diocs.org, 719-866-6533