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RCIA – Becoming Catholic

St. Basil The Great Parish welcomes anyone who wishes to inquire about the Catholic faith. Maybe you have been attending Mass for awhile and would like to learn more about the beliefs and practices of Catholics. You might be married to a Catholic, or you have a Catholic friend or relative and would like to discuss your questions or concerns about Catholicism with someone from the church.

If so, you may speak with any of our priests or members of our pastoral staff, all of whom would be willing to be of assistance. If you would like to fully explore the possibility of becoming Catholic, contact 440-526-1686 for more information about our Catechumenate Program, and the process by which people are prepared to be initiated in the Catholic faith tradition. Here is some basic information about this process.

What is the Catechumenate Program?

The Catechumenate is a program of instruction and experience of Catholicism designed to help people decide whether or not they are called to live as Christians within the Catholic faith tradition. Sometimes people refer to it as the RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) which is the official ritual book of the Roman Catholic Church for adult baptism. It also contains the rites for those who have already been baptized in another Christian faith to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.


Who is a catechumen?

A Catechumen is an adult who has not been baptized and is learning to live the life of the Gospel. When accepted as a Catechumen, a person becomes an unbaptized member of the Catholic Church, while preparing to be initiated in the faith through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. Catechumens are received into the Church at the Easter Vigil.
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Who is a candidate?

A Candidate is an adult who was baptized, and therefore initiated in the Christian faith that is shared with Catholics. It is someone who has made the decision to live that faith within the Catholic tradition, and is preparing to be received into the Catholic Church. When received into the Church, the Candidate is normally Confirmed, and participates in the Eucharist for the first time as a member of the Catholic Church. Baptized Catholics, who were not catechized (not instructed in the faith) and did not receive the Sacraments of Confirmation or Eucharist, are also called Candidates.
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Can children become candidates or catechumens?

Any child who is seven years of age or older can become a candidate or a catechumen (according to the same criteria described for adults). However, catechesis for children or teens who become Candidates or Catechumens is determined on the basis of their age and individual needs, and they may or may not participate in all or part of the adult Catechumenate program.

What do people do when participating in the catechumenate?

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Both Candidates and Catechumens participate in the teaching segment of the program which meets for an hour and a half to learn about and discuss Catholic beliefs and practices. They then attend Liturgy together at the 10:30 am mass. After the homily, when the Liturgy of the Word (the first part of the Mass) ends, they return to share their understanding of the meaning of the Scripture readings for their own lives.
Participants in the Catechumenate learn as much, if not more, from one another as they do from their catechists, sponsors and parish mentors.
They share in parish prayer experiences, as well as in service opportunities, all of which helps them to discern whether they wish to make a commitment to the Catholic faith.
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