Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

How do I become Catholic?

The Catholic Church rejoices with you as you take this journey to belong to the church founded by Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world.  We welcome you and we hope to be able to accompany you as you get to know the Church, a community both human and divine.


Ash Wednesday

 Feb. 22, 2023
Rite of Election (Springfield) Feb. 26, 2023
Rite of Election (Cape Girardeau) Mar. 5, 2023
Easter Apr. 9, 2023
First Steps
Find a parish near you and let them know you are interested.
In the Catholic Church, the whole world is divided into dioceses. Dioceses are districts, similar to states in the secular world, under the pastoral care of a bishop. Each diocese is divided into parishes— each with a church and a pastor to lead the people in that community. No matter where you are on earth, there is a parish tasked with caring for your spiritual needs and well-being. You can find a parish church near you by visiting Find A Church.
Ask to be part of the RCIA program. RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. This 8-12+ month program will help you learn more about the Catholic faith, build your relationship with Jesus, and help you become a disciple.
What is the RCIA?
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), also called the Catechumenate, is a process of initiation into the Catholic community of faith.  

It is a process in which one studies the Gospels and Catholic Christian teaching, develops and deepens a life of prayer and action with the support and involvement of the local parish community. 

The RCIA is more than a course of instruction. It is a process of conversion, designed to meet the unique and individual needs of the participants.

Four Periods of the RCIA Process  

  • Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate
    At this time participants are encouraged to ask questions and explore the basic principles of the Catholic faith and to reflect upon these in light of their own life experiences.
  • The Catechumenate
    It is during this time that most of the study of Scripture, doctrine, traditions and meeting with the community takes place.
  • Purification & Enlightenment
    For those preparing for baptism, this stage takes place during the Lenten season where they reflect upon their own faith experiences in a more intense, prayerful way. Baptized candidates reflect more deeply upon the meaning of their baptism and celebrate the Sacrament of Penance.  As this period ends, c
    andidates for baptism celebrate their initiation into the Church on the holiest of nights-the Easter Vigil – where they are baptized, confirmed and receive Eucharist. Candidates for full communion celebrate their Rite of Reception several other times throughout the year.
  • Mystagogy
    This is a time for candidates to reflect upon their experiences of being new Catholic Christians and find their place in the life of the Church.

Courtesy of St. James Cathedral

RCIA Coordinators and Leaders

Thank you for accompanying our fellow brothers and sisters in their search for truth. Thank you for taking on the responsibilities of:

  • Instructing catechumens and candidates in the Christian faith by apprenticing them in the living Word of God, community life, prayer, and works of mercy (see RCIA 75)
  • Calling the entire parish to be models and examples of living the Christian way of life
  • Caring for the rites of the catechumenate by working with the presider and liturgical ministers
  • Providing pastoral care to catechumens and candidates 
  • Assisting the catechumens in discerning and choosing good godparents, and approving their choice of godparents

Courtesy of Team RCIA

We hope the following resources will help you better serve and accompany catechumens and candidates in this amazing journey of encounter with Jesus in the Catholic Church.

Info to Submit to the Catholic Center
2023 Rite of Election Information for Planning
Please submit a number, or best estimate, of how many individuals from your parish are joining us for the diocesan Rite of Election celebrations. We are also collecting the names and additional information for those individuals once you confirm their participation. 
The deadline to turn in estimated numbers for the Rite of Election is January 06, 2023.
The deadline to turn in the final list of names for the Rite of Election is January 27, 2023.

Coming soon!

Resources and Helpful Links

Coming soon!

Please visit the Office of Faith Formation page for additional resources.