The Church is communio; she is God communing with men in Christ
and hence the communing of men with one another.
[Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger]
Whether it happens when one is an infant or an adult, becoming Catholic is one of life's most profound and joyous experiences! Everyone is on a journey with the Lord and, no matter where you are in your faith, there is a place for you at Saint Bernadette.
A person enters full communion with the Catholic Church through the reception of the three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. A person baptized in the Catholic Church becomes Catholic at that moment - Confirmation and Eucharist strengthen and deepen that individual's initiation into the Church. For one who was baptized outside the Catholic Church (by another Christian denomination), a profession of faith is made and the person is received into the Church; Confirmation and Eucharist are typically received immediately after the profession.
For those who desire to become Catholic, whether through Baptism or by a profession of faith, preparation is important.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults
RCIA is a process of prayer, reflection, and learning by which individuals can find out more about the Catholic faith and prepare to be initiated into the Church through Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. Many people inquire about becoming Catholic for many different reasons. This process is not a mere expounding of doctrines and precepts, but a time of asking questions, seeking truth, and being mentored in the Christian life.
Because the focus is on the formation and preparation of the individual, there is no time frame for RCIA. Most complete preparations within a year, but some take up to three years.
Even if you're not ready to become Catholic, but want answers, RCIA is a great place to get them.
To become a part of the exciting experience that is RCIA, whether as a participant or a volunteer, please contact Sister Colleen O'Toole, RSM: