If you are an adult, 18 years of age or older and need any of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion, we can assist you with this process. This process is called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) and is designed to help you discern whether or not you are ready to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. This process is patterned after the ancient practice of the Early Christian Church of the Fourth Century when Catechumens (those desiring to be baptized) journeyed through the process that would lead them to receive all three Sacraments together at the end of their journey.
The RCIA distinguishes between several groups:
- A Catechumen: A person desiring all three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
- A Candidate for Confirmation and Eucharist: A person already baptized either in the Catholic Church or a Christian denomination whose baptism is valid and desires to either receive Confirmation and Eucharist or wishes to be received into the Catholic Church and receive Confirmation and Eucharist.
- A Candidate for Confirmation only: A person already baptized and have received Eucharist but needs to complete the Sacrament of Confirmation to complete his/her Initiation.
- A Candidate for Communion only: A person already baptized and has received Confirmation but never completed the process to receive Holy Communion.
While the process is designed primarily for the Catechumens and Candidates for Confirmation and Eucharist, we welcome all these groups. However, Candidates for Communion only or Confirmation only do not qualify to participate in the rituals of the RCIA but certainly can support those who are on the journey.
The first step is to complete the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults application which conveniently can be done online or in hard copy. For those participants already baptized either in the Catholic Church or a Christian denomination, need to provide a copy of their baptismal certificate which can be obtained from the baptizing church. Please start making the arrangements to obtain a copy of your baptismal certificate as soon as possible as in some cases, it can take quite some time. If you don’t know how to obtain your baptismal certificate, please contact the Parish Office at (330) 482-2351 for assistance. Once we have your application, an RCIA Facilitator will contact you and arrange for an interview to assess where you are on the journey.
Some Criteria to Consider
Some participants entering into the process and who are married civilly or living together need to understand that the RCIA is a process of conversion, discipleship, and learning. One big step that will be asked is to enter into the Sacrament of Marriage at the end of the process. We can assist in preparing you for this big step. Participants must demonstrate conversion and their life of faith in Christ. It is important if you haven’t done so already to register with St. Jude or Our Lady of Lourdes Church and attend Sunday Mass. Participants not attending Mass regularly risk the possibility of having their process delayed.
Participants needing the Sacraments of Baptism and/or Confirmation will need at least one Sponsor who qualifies for the program.
The qualifications according to Church Law is as follows:
- At least 16 years of age
- Is fully initiated in the Catholic Church and practicing their faith. He/she must be Baptized, Confirmed, and received Holy Communion.
- Lives an exemplary life by attending Church regularly, involved in a parish ministry, or at least shows exemplary living according to the Christian way.
- If married, must be married in the Catholic Church and not just civilly.
Sponsors who have been chosen but who belong to other parishes will be required to submit to the Parish Office a permission letter from their Church authorizing to serve as Sponsor at both parishes. They must contact their parish church for this letter. In cases where a participant cannot find a suitable Sponsor, we will be happy to assist and provide a Sponsor for you.