Will you help others seeking to be initiated into the Catholic Church?
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is not so much a program as a process. Through the RCIA, men and women discern God's call to enter the Catholic Church and are helped along in this process by many Catholics in their parish. Are you willing to live out your Baptismal “CALL” and join those seeking to be initiated into the Catholic Church by assisting them in the process and walking with them along the journey?
St. Stephen’s has many opportunities to do just that!
- Become an RCIA Sponsor: Everyone going through the RCIA process needs a sponsor. The role of the sponsor, however, is not to answer all the questions about the Catholic Church (we have our catechetical sessions for this). Rather, the sponsor acts as a mentor in faith and will stand next to those in RCIA during the rites that take place throughout the RCIA process. As a sponsor, you will participate in the three rites, accompany your candidate to as many classes as possible, and join in the RCIA retreat.
- You must also be a Catholic in good standing (meaning a Catholic who follows the Church's teachings and attends Sunday mass regularly, has a life of prayer, and aims to prioritize God and faith in your life).
- Become an RCIA Volunteer Team Member: As an RCIA team member, you would work with the director/coordinator in helping accompany and catechize those who are in the RCIA process. To be a member of the team, you should feel a call to minister in evangelization and education of new members of our Faith, and be able to make some time commitment to the process.
- Join the RCIA Prayer Team: As a member of the RCIA Prayer Team, you would take time to keep those in the RCIA in your personal prayers while also participating in some specific prayers here at St. Stephen’s
The RCIA process is segmented into three stages, each bringing those on the journey closer to union with the Church.
- The first stage is called Inquiry and can last as long as it needs to for each individual. During this stage, we simply learn more about the Catholic faith as the inquirers discern whether they want to proceed in the process of RCIA. Those in inquiry learn to pray with scripture, the way Catholics worship in the Mass and have an opportunity to discuss whatever questions they may have.
- The second stage is called the Catechumenate. Those in the catechumenate have decided to move forward with coming into the Church therefore the classes are more systematic and cover everything from the sacraments to the moral teachings of the faith.
- In the final two phases, Purification & Enlightenment and Mystagogia, we continue to dive deeper into the mysteries of Catholicism as the faith of the new members grows, both before and after they become full members of the Church.
As a part-time RCIA Team member, you would join us for any one of these three periods of the RCIA process, ministering to each stage as you feel called. Some might prefer to help catechize the catechumenate where others might feel more called to help the newly inquiring in the inquiry stage, while others might desire to help accompany new members deeper into the faith and parish life.
Volunteers must receive a VIRTUS Essential 3 Background check before volunteering.
Contact Maredith Toweh to learn more and sign-up to volunteer. You may also call the Parish Office with questions and volunteer registration. Thank you in advance to all those who step forward!