RCIA

 Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. 

There is a Period of Inquiry for those who are thinking about becoming a Catholic and are either unbaptized or have been baptized in another denomination and is seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.

The Catechumenate is the process by which candidates are instructed in the fundamentals of the Catholic faith in preparation to become members of the Catholic faith.  The process includes instruction in the basics of the faith and preparation to receive the sacraments.

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults classes are conducted generally on Sundays.  The schedule is set to complete the training in time for the students to become members of our Church during an Easter Vigil celebration.  It is at this celebration that the candidates are presented to the parish community, receive the sacraments and fully participate in the spiritual life of our parish.

Classes are conducted on an adult level of learning.

If you are interested, please call the Rectory office at 973-748-1800.

Rite of Welcome - Sacred Heart Church, Bloomfield, New Jersey - Sunday, February 23, 2020

Prior to beginning the RCIA process, an individual comes to some knowledge of Jesus Christ, considers his or her relationship with Jesus Christ and is usually attracted in some way to the Catholic Church. This period is known as the Period of Evangelization and Precatechumenate. For some, this process involves a long period of searching; for others, a shorter time. Often, contact with people of faith and a personal faith experience lead people to inquire about the Catholic Church. After a conversation with a priest, or RCIA director, the person, known as an "inquirer," may seek acceptance into the Order of Catechumens, through the Rite of Acceptance. During this Rite, the inquirer stands amidst the parish community and states that he or she wants to become a baptized member of the Catholic Church. The parish assembly affirms this desire and the inquirer becomes a Catechumen.

The Period of the Catechumenate can last for as long as several years or for a shorter time. It depends on how the person is growing in faith, what questions they encounter along the way, and how God leads them on this journey. During this time, the Catechumens consider what God is saying to them in the Scriptures, what changes in their life they need to make to respond to God's inspiration, and what Baptism in the Catholic Church means. When a Catechumen and the priest and the parish team working with him or her believes the person is ready to make a faith commitment to Jesus in the Catholic Church, the next step is the request for baptism and the celebration of the Rite of Election. Even before the Catechumens are baptized, they have a special relationship to the Church.

 

Rite of Sending - Sacred Heart Church, Bloomfield, New Jersey - Sunday, February 24, 2019

The rite(s) of sending involve "sending" the Catechumens and/or Candidates to the Bishop and the people of the Local Church. Catechumens are sent for election while Candidates are sent for recognition and the call to continuing conversion. The Rite of Sending affords the parish the opportunity to express its approval, to rejoice in the decision to receive the sacraments of initiation and to assure the Catechumens and Candidates of the community's care and support. 

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Rite of Election and Continuing Conversion - Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Newark, New Jersey - Sunday, March 2, 2019

The Rite of Election includes the enrollment of names of all the Catechumens seeking baptism at the coming Easter Vigil. Typically, on the first Sunday of Lent, the Catechumens, their sponsors and families gather at the cathedral church. The Catechumens publicly express their desire for baptism to the diocesan bishop. Their names are recorded in a book and they are called the Elect.

 

 

 

Easter Vigil Acceptance into Full Communion - Sacred Heart Church, Bloomfield, New Jersey - Holy Saturday - April 20,2019

Our Catechumens receive the Sacraments of Initiation

 

Brandon Baptism

  


 

RCIA Confirmation  - Sacred Heart Church, Bloomfield, New Jersey - Sunday, May 19, 2019

In the Sacrament of Confirmation, the baptized person is "sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit" and is strengthened for service to the Body of Christ.

As a newly initiated Catholic, they continue their formation and education continue in the Period of the Post Baptismal Catechesis, which is also called Mystagogy. This period continues at least until Pentecost. During the period the newly baptized members reflect on their experiences at the Easter Vigil and continue to learn more about the Scriptures, the Sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church. In addition they reflect on how they will serve Christ and help in the Church's mission and outreach activities.

The prophets of the Old Testament foretold that God's Spirit would rest upon the Messiah to sustain his mission.  Their prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus the Messiah was conceived by the Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.  The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus on the occasion of his baptism by John.  Jesus' entire mission occurred in communion with the Spirit. Before he died, Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and to the entire Church.  After his death, he was raised by the Father in the power of the Spirit.

Confirmation deepens our baptismal life that calls us to be missionary witnesses of Jesus Christ in our families, neighborhoods, society, and the world.  . . .  We receive the message of faith in a deeper and more intensive manner with great emphasis given to the person of Jesus Christ, who asked the Father to give the Holy Spirit to the Church for building up the community in loving service.