Join the Catholic Church

The Christian Journey – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

Are you:

  • Considering becoming Catholic?                                              
  • A Catholic interested in being Confirmed?                                                   
  • A Confirmed Catholic who is ready to explore your faith anew?

Join us for RCIA!

Each year men and women embark on an exploration of the Catholic faith through the RCIA program.  Some are discerning if they are being called into the Catholic Church; others are already Catholic and want to go deeper into what being Catholic really means.  Together we witness that our search for God is a lifelong journey, a journey in which we make the most progress when taken with others.

2018 RCIA Group with Sponsors and Bishop Thomas Zinkula at St. Mary’s, Ottumwa
Photo courtesy Lucky Soda Photography


What is RCIA?

RCIA, or Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, is the process by which interested persons gradually become fully initiated into the Catholic Church.

If I begin the process, am I obligated to become Catholic?

No, you are not.  In fact most participants are unsure if they want to join the Church when they start.  The sessions are designed so that you can make an informed decision about what is best for you in your faith journey. For some participants, that means learning more about the Church but never choosing to join.

How long does it take?

Our sessions begin in September of each year and go until the Easter Vigil and Pentecost in the spring.  Each person’s situation is unique so the journey may be longer in some cases. It’s never too late to contact us, though. You can join that year’s class up until the Advent season.

What are the steps of the RCIA process?

1.  Period of Inquiry:  We answer questions and look at the basic teachings of the Catholic Church.
2.  The Catechumenate:  We look deeper into the Catholic faith and answer some of the questions that you may have. 
3.  Purfication and Enlightment:  We delve deeper into scripture and how it relates to our faith.
4.  Pascal Triduum with the Sacraments of Initiation:  Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Eater Vigil Mass including the Sacraments of initiation.

What if I am already Catholic and want to get involved with RCIA?

You can become more involved with RCIA by:
1.  Joining the team and sharing your faith with the group.
2.  Becoming a sponsor.
3.  You can join the group to explore your own faith, and find answers to any unanswered question you may have.

What is a sponsor?

A sponsor is a practicing Catholic who has been confirmed, and who serves as a friend and companion.  Sponsors do not need to have all the answers, just an active faith and a desire to share that faith with others.

Who do I contact to learn more?
Tom Hardie, Deacon & RCIA Coordinator

You may also contact the church office for more information.