Learn About Catholicism: RCIA

The sacraments of Christian initiation– Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist– lay the foundations of every Christian life. “The sharing in the divine nature given to men through the grace of Christ bears a certain likeness to the origin, development, and nourishing of natural life. The faithful are:

  • born anew by Baptism
  • strengthened by the sacrament of Confirmation
  • receive the food of eternal life in the Eucharist

By means of these sacraments of Christian initiation, the faithful thus receive in increasing measure the treasures of the divine life and advance toward the perfection of charity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1212).

Frequently Asked Questions for those Considering Catholicism

How do I learn more about Catholicism?

We are glad that you are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith. There are a number of ways that you can learn more about Catholicism, whether you are a parishioner at St. Patrick Church of Merna or St. Mary Church in Downs. We would like the opportunity to meet you and walk with you in your faith journey. We would be happy to assist you by answering questions, providing information, and connecting you with others in the parish.

What if I think I want to become Catholic?

If you are interested in the possibility of becoming Catholic, we invite you to participate in a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). In RCIA, you will learn about all aspects of the Catholic faith, and you will have the opportunity to participate in the life of the parish as you learn and grow. RCIA sessions begin in September and are offered at St. Patrick Church of Merna for both parishes. Those who continue the process would celebrate the sacraments with us for the first time during the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday at St. Patrick Church of Merna.

What if I change my mind?

Seeking information about the Catholic faith will not commit or oblige you to become Catholic. We encourage you to learn as much about the faith and take as much time as you need to make this decision. While we love the Catholic faith and hope that you will also come to love it, we will not pressure anyone to make such an important decision.

Who should join RCIA?

Those not yet baptized.

The primary focus of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is on those who are not already Christian and have not been catechized.

Those baptized with little instruction. 

Those who have been baptized either as Roman Catholics or as members of another Christian community but have not received further formation or instruction in the faith.

Those seeking full communion in the Catholic Church. 

These are baptized, practicing Christians from other denominations who seek entry into the Catholic Church.

Whats my first step?

At our parishes, the RCIA process starts as you begin to seek information about the process of becoming a Catholic. Everyone brings their personal story, and whatever your background, your life experience is welcome and valued.

We encourage you to ask questions, and our parish RCIA Team would love the opportunity to meet with you. Please contact Deacon Troy Morris at (309) 532-0265 or email rcia@stpatrickmerna.org

RCIA Updates