(Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a formation process for unbaptized people and for members of other Christian churches seeking admission into the Catholic Church. When the Church uses the word “adult” in reference to Christian initiation, it includes children. In other words, there is no additional rite for children or teens. “Adult” refers to everyone who has reached the age of reason.
The process for the Catechumenate is a 4 stage process. Inquiry begins in September and last for a period of time. The purpose of Inquiry is to allow candidates to ask questions regarding faith and the Catholic Church. It also allows the Church to ask questions of each Candidate.
The second period is known as the Catechumenate. After the Rite of Acceptance the candidates begin formal study of the Faith. The study is an immersion in the Word of God, and is augmented by doctrine, sacramental theology, history of tradition making up the Catholic Faith.
The period of Purification and Enlightenment begins with the Rite of Election and lasts through the 40 days of Lent. The goal for this period is prayer and preparation for the Easter Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.
The first three stages culminate at the Easter Vigil where full initiation of adults takes place. The 50 days of Easter make up the period of Mystagogia. Mystagogia looks deeply into the experience of being a new born Christian (Neophyte) and explores the Mysteries of Receiving and Knowing the Risen Christ.