Come if you are Catholic, not Catholic, seeking, a lapsed Catholic, a non-Catholic Christian… really, you’d be in the right place just because you’re human. Everyone has a different reason for coming, and they are all the right reasons.
The course is designed for all of those who are wishing to learn more about Catholicism. Just show up! or contact Nanci Lukasik-Smith, Director of Catechesis, at (623) 344-7294.
Ask Any Question That You’d Like
Each class will have a Q&A session directly afterwards. Everyone has at least one “Why” in their life.
One of the most important things to mention is that there is no question or topic off limits at these open forums. Please feel free to ask anything that is on your mind. If it is important to you, then it is important to us. You need never feel judged, uncomfortable, or anything of the sort. We are just glad to have the opportunity to meet you and hopefully shed some light on the difficult intricacies of life!
Questions are a Large Part of the Human Experience
One of the first words a young child learns and speaks (often) is “Why?” We are inquisitive. We want to know. We want the answer:
Who am I? What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose? What happens when I die? Why do bad things happen to good people? Why does it always feel like something is missing? Why do I feel unfulfilled? Does God exist? Who is God? What does He desire for me? What does it mean that God loves me?
Becoming Catholic will not ensure that you can answer all of these questions completely on this Earth. However, it is the most meaningful step that can be taken to answer these questions, and countless others.
God loves His creation, especially each and every single human being, including you. He loves you fully and completely. He proved this by becoming man in the Person of Jesus Christ and suffering and dying for your sins and mine.
What does it mean to become Catholic? Pope Benedict XVI wrote well on this:
"We have come to believe in God’s love: in these words the Christian can express the fundamental decision of his life. Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction."
The answer to the “Why?” is Jesus. He gives life meaning and purpose. In the great paradox of Christianity, the more we give of ourselves over to Him, the more we come to truly understand ourselves and the world around us. Come discover the “why” to your questions by coming to know and love Jesus Christ and His Church: the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
Outline for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The journey to becoming Catholic looks different for everyone, but there is a flow we all generally follow:
Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate
This is a time, of no fixed duration or structure, for inquiry and introduction to Gospel values, an opportunity for the beginnings of faith.
First Step: Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens
This is the liturgical rite, usually celebrated on some annual date or dates, marking the beginning of the catechumenate proper, as the candidates express and the Church accepts their intention to respond to God’s call to follow the way of Christ.
Period of the Catechumenate
This is the time, in duration corresponding to the progress of the individual, for the nurturing and growth of the catechumens’ faith and conversion to God; celebrations of the Word and prayers of exorcism and blessing are meant to assist the process.
Second Step: Election or Enrollment of Names
This is the liturgical rite, usually celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent, by which the Church formally ratifies the catechumens’ readiness for the sacraments of initiation and the catechumens, now the elect, express the will to receive these sacraments.
Period of Purification and Enlightenment
This is the time immediately preceding the elects’ initiation, usually the Lenten season preceding the celebration of this initiation at the Easter Vigil; it is a time of reflection, intensely centered on conversion, marked by celebration of the scrutinies and presentations and of the preparation rites on Holy Saturday.
Third Step: Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation
This is the liturgical rite, usually integrated into the Easter Vigil, but which the elect of initiated through Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist.
Period of Postbaptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy
This is the time, usually the Easter season, following the celebration of initiation, during which the newly initiated experience being fully a part of the Christian community by means of both penitent catechesis and particularly by participation with all the faithful in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration.