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Welcome to the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (and children/teens) is the process through which adults (and children/teens) become members of the Catholic Faith. If you have never been baptized, or if you have been baptized in another Christian church, you are invited to attend. If you were baptized as a Catholic but never received any faith formation and never received the remainder of the sacraments of initiation (i.e., Confirmation/and Eucharist) this process may be for you as well. There is absolutely no pressure to become a Catholic. This is your time and your decision.
You may find yourself going back and forth between understanding, confusion, prayer, and discovery. Recognizing that each person’s relationship with God is unique; the Church in her wisdom invites people to enter the process known as RCIA to assist each person on their own journey. We come together on a weekly basis with members of the St. Matthew community to hear Scripture, reflect on its meaning for their lives, and study the teachings of the Catholic Church. Some may explore their relationship with God and the Catholic Church longer than others and choose to enter the preparation phases during their second year. Others may simply come to gain understanding and information and choose not to become Catholic. Your journey is your own. Those who are called to follow Jesus in the Roman Catholic tradition join the whole community to celebrate their Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.
The RCIA JOURNEY HAS THE FOLLOWING STEPS:
- The period of Inquiry is the time when people ask questions about the Catholic Faith. In this period, they learn about the Scriptures, Salvation, Jesus and the kingdom message. There is no time requirement assigned to this period. When a person is ready then they move on.
- The period of Catechumenate begins when a person has accepted the saving power of Christ in their life. They are formally welcomed in the Rite of Election by St. Matthew’s community at a Sunday Mass, and they are called catechumens or candidates. During this time they attend the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) classes to learn more Scripture, the sacraments, how to live a moral life, and the ritual and the life of the church. They attend Mass and are called to reflect more deeply on the Word of God.
- The Period of Purification and Enlightenment corresponds to the beginning of Lent. It is the time when the candidates are called a special name, “the Elect” and are encouraged to develop and increase their prayer life. The period normally begins with a Rite of Election celebrated at the Cathedral Church in Portland. It is their first exposure to a larger church and to our shepherd, the Bishop.
- The candidates who seek full membership into the Catholic Church join on Easter Vigil (the night before Easter). The St. Matthew’s community joyfully celebrates the Sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.
- The period of Mystagogy completes the initiation process. It begins after Easter Sunday and extends into Pentecost. During this time, the newly initiated are called Neophytes and are encouraged to reflect on their experience and their new life in the church.
- Actively serving in the community of St. Matthew by joining a faith sharing group, serving at Mass, or serving the hungry, the infirm, the unborn, and those in need in the wider Hillsboro community.
WHAT KINDS OF TOPICS DO WE COVER DURING THE CATECHUMENATE?
- The Resurrection of Our Savior
- How to Love God with our daily actions
- The role of the Apostles in the Catholic Church
- How to resist temptations and evil.
- Who are the Angels & Demons
- The meaning and order of the Mass. How to pray the Mass.
- Single Life, Marriage, Priesthood, Religious Life
- The Christian Meaning of Work
- The mystery of suffering
- Humility & Perseverance in Prayer
- Contraception, Abortion, Sterilization, Pornography, IVF, Euthanasia, etc.
STOPPED GOING TO CHURCH, MAY I ATTEND?
Yes, of course! Inquiry and RCIA provide wonderful reviews of the basics of the Catholic Faith.
I AM BAPTIZED AND RECEIVED 1ST COMMUNION, BUT NOT CONFIRMATION. Is this program for me too?
If you have received Baptism and First Communion, we encourage you to take the Confirmation Program for Adults which is designed for adults that are familiar with the Catholic Faith. Often Catholic adults have different questions than those that are just joining the Catholic Church. The Confirmation Program for Adults begins each September. Registration packets are available online.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS PROGRAM COST?
The program is free; however, church members in this program are asked to tithe the church 10% of their earning on Sundays. Tithing is a way of offering to God the fruit of your labors. The money goes in to maintain the Church buildings, paying staff, buying supplies for programs, and reaching out to the broader community.
WHAT DO I NEED FOR THIS PROGRAM?
You will need to buy a Catholic Bible and a Catechism, if you do not already own them. We will give you instructions about how to go about buying these and which to buy.
The Word of God
Daily Mass Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/011614.cfm\
Questions and Answers about the Catholic Faith
Questions, answers, and forums about Catholicism: www.catholic.com
Catholic Encyclopedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05752c.htm
Thinking about coming back to Catholicism? www.catholicscomehome.org
Talks and articles that explain the Catholic Faith: www.peterkreeft.com
Fr. Robert Barron’s website (Sunday Homilies): www.wordonfire.org
Young Adult Resources
St. Matthew and Vicariate Group: http://www.newman.safg.org/
Metropolitan Catholic Fellowship, Portland Area: http://www.mcfpdx.org/
St. Cecilia’s Young Adult Group, Beaverton, OR: http://www.angelfire.com/planet/scya/scya.html
Dating, marriage, divorce, and nullity of marriage
Dating and purity resources: www.chastity.com
Dating, Engaged, Marriage and Parenting resources: http://www.foryourmarriage.org/.
Divorced Catholic resources: http://divorcedcatholic.com/
Catholic Women’s Reflections about Single Life, Parenting, and More: www.beautyinbelief.com/
Catholic Mom (Parenting Ideas): http://catholicmom.com/
Our Lady of Peace Retreat House & Bookstore, Beaverton, OR: http://www.olpretreat.org/
Blessings from Heaven, Beaverton, OR: http://www.blessingsfromheaven.org/