Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)


RCIA is a process for welcoming and forming adults into the Catholic faith. It involves a series of phases and rites to mark the individual’s journey and recognize their continued commitment. Depending on your past, such as your baptismal status, the RCIA process differs slightly for each individual. We each live out our own journey, unique and unrepeatable; however we all share the same goal or end in our journey: God. The RCIA process is the Catholic Church’s way of initiating adults so that they may journey toward God in the truth and light of the Catholic faith. The RCIA process is for adults who wish to find out more about the Catholic faith, and if so called, become Catholic. This includes anyone who has no religious affiliation, as well as other Christians, and those who are Catholic but have not received the Sacraments of Communion or Confirmation.

Each of the stages of the RCIA journey is marked by formation, sharing, personal choice for continued commitment, then celebration of a rite. The full RCIA process follows this sequence:

Inquiry (Pre-Catechumenate)

In this first stage you are called an Inquirer. This is a time to ask questions, reflect on the answers and decide if you want to continue on this path. Those who wish to continue celebrate the Rite of Acceptance/Welcoming.


This is the primary learning phase of the RCIA process. Class time is spent on a deeper presentation of the Catholic Faith. During Sunday Mass individuals are dismissed to study the scripture readings and their application to life. This phase ends near the time of Lent and is marked by the celebration of the Rite of Election.

Period of Purification and Enlightenment

The focus of the third stage is the individual’s spiritual growth. It coincides with the season of Lent where all the people of the Church are preparing for the joy of Easter. The phase ends with the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.


During the Season of Easter you are known as a neophyte, meaning ‘new plant’. You are encouraged to nourish and grow your faith to help it take root in the community, just as a seedling in a new garden must be watered and fertilized to produce its harvest. You are now a full contributing member of the Catholic Church.

RCIA is the process for adults to come into the Catholic Church.  For more information contact the Parish Office at 616-784-0677 or parishoffice@holytrinitycp.org.

Children who are above the age of reason (after age 7) who have not received baptism can be received into the Church in a similar process, please contact Becky Dunneback, Director of  Children’s Faith Formation.  Phone: 616-784-0677 ext 152 or Email: rdunneback@holytrinitycp.org

Are You Interested in Volunteering in The RCIA Ministry?

Sponsors: Each adult that enters into the second phase of RCIA, the Catechumenate, is matched with a sponsor from the parish. A sponsor’s role is to journey with the individual, supporting them through the process with their presence at the Rites celebrated. Sponsors must be fully initiated (Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation), but not necessarily know it alls in the faith. It is a rewarding and growing experience.

RCIA Team: Comprised of individuals who do more than teach the faith, the RCIA team lives, breathes, thinks, and shares the faith. They both challenge and support the Candidates and Catechumens in their spiritual development.

For parishioners who are interested in becoming an RCIA sponsor or team member, please contact