The Process/Journey of the "Rite of Christian Initiation for Children/Youth (RCIA)"

El Proceso/Jornada del "Rito de la Iniciacion Cristiana de Ninos/Jovenes (RICA)"

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them
to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you
always, to the close of the age" (Mt 28:19-20).

  • The process has four periods much like that of the RCIA for adults. After the Second Vatican Council, the Church restored the order of the Catechumenate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The RCIA for children/youth, in some parishes, is also known as RCIC or RCIA-C; it is a process that invites any child age 7 and up to discover what the Catholic Church teaches and believes.
  • It is important to note that RCIA is open to un-baptized children/youth, children/youth baptized in another faith, and children who may be baptized but who have not practiced their Catholic faith regularly (required at Holy Family for those who have not, for some reason or another continued their faith formation). Like the RCIA for adults, this process is accomplished in a comfortable, friendly and informal environment designed for children. Separate sessions of Catechesis (faith formation) are presented "after," first, the family, parents, and child/youth understand the process, journey and periods (see below). This is essential to the formation- all must understand it is a process and journey-an encounter with Christ.
  • Certain Rites are celebrated within each period in order to ensure the encounter is truly within the child's/youth's heart. In this parish, most children/youth begin the RCIA for children in the fall. Entry into the Church has historically been at Easter after about nine months or more of preparation, there is no promised time for your child's/youth's sacraments. For some children, who are not yet ready, this process can take longer. In the Diocese of San Bernardino, near the end of the process, all three Sacraments of Initiation Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are celebrated at the Easter Vigil, all together in one Mass. 

This is the process, journey, and program in the church by which children/youth become 'fully initiated as Catholic' bringing their conversion to the faith to a greater maturity. It also helps them respond more deeply to God's gracious initiative in their lives and prepares them for union with the Church community. The RCIA process is to form these children/youth in Christ into the fullness of the Christian life and to become disciples of Jesus. All who are above 18 years of age are invited into the Adult RCIA program who are in the process, together with Adult Confirmation in order to bring about a dialogue-one with another, go to the RCIA program page

The steps are described in the following manner/Los Pasos Se described de la Siguiente manera:

Inquiry/Investigación: (Period 1)
People are searching for a way to respond to God’s goodness in their lives by finding a religion with which they feel comfortable.  They are invited to participate in periodic gatherings to share their stories, ask questions, and pray with members of the faith community. There is no commitment on the part of the participant at this time. This is just a time for getting to know each other./Las personas buscan una manera de responder a la bondad de Dios en sus vidas al encontrar una religión con la que se sientan cómodos. Se les invita a participar en reuniones periódicas para compartir sus historias, hacer preguntas y orar con miembros de la comunidad de fe. No hay compromiso por parte del participante en este momento. Este es solo un momento para conocerse.

Rite of Welcoming-Acceptance/Rito de bienvenida-Aceptación: (Period 1 going onto 2)
When a person feels comfortable with his or her experience of the Church, the person is invited to a Sunday Mass where he/she is welcomed by the whole community into a time of learning Christ. This is also the time when a sponsor, a faithful member of the parish, agrees to accompany the person through the journey of faith. Part of the mystery of life involves dying to self and rising to new life in Christ. A sponsor is a living witness of how to live a life of Christ./Cuando una persona se siente cómoda con su experiencia de la Iglesia, la persona es invitada a una misa dominical donde es recibida por toda la comunidad en un tiempo de aprendizaje de Cristo. Este es también el momento en que un padrino, un miembro fiel de la parroquia, acepta acompañar a la persona en el camino de la fe. Parte del misterio de la vida implica morir a uno mismo y resucitar a una nueva vida en Cristo. Un padrino es un testimonio vivo de cómo vivir una vida de Cristo.

This Rite signifies a commitment on the part of the church community to support the person and a commitment on the part of the person to participate at Sunday Mass, weekly sessions based on the Gospel, prayer, and doing the good works of the community./Este Rito significa un compromiso por parte de la comunidad de la iglesia para apoyar a la persona y un compromiso por parte de la persona para participar en la Misa dominical, sesiones semanales basadas en el Evangelio, oración y hacer las buenas obras de la comunidad.

Catechumenate: (Period 2)
Once the person has committed in the Rite of Welcoming/Acceptance he/she enters into the time of the catechumenate. This word is derived from a Greek word that means “echo.” During the time of the catechumenate the person learns Christ, not only by the instruction, but by the witness of the parish community.  The time of the catechumenate usually - but not limited to - one year./Una vez que la persona se ha comprometido en el Rito de Bienvenida / Aceptación, profundo, entra en el tiempo del catecumenado. Esta palabra se deriva de una palabra griega que significa "eco". Durante el tiempo del catecumenado la persona aprende de Cristo, no solo por la instrucción, sino por el testimonio de la comunidad parroquial(i.e. saber y conocer-son diferentes). El tiempo del catecumenado generalmente, pero no limitado a, un año. 

Rite of Sending/Rito de envío: (Period 2 going onto 3)

Each year as Lent approaches individuals who have been engaged in the catechumenate discern, along with the sponsor and church community, whether they are ready to receive the sacraments of initiation at the coming Easter Vigil. Those who are ready are presented to the pastor at Mass. Their sponsors attest to their readiness and the pastor blesses the people and assures them of the prayers of the parish as they begin the next period of their faith journey./Cada año, a medida que se acerca la Cuaresma, las personas que han participado en el catecumenado disciernen, junto con el patrocinador(a) y la comunidad de la iglesia, si están listos para recibir los sacramentos de iniciación en la próxima Vigilia Pascual. Aquellos que están listos son presentados al párroco en la Misa. Sus patrocinadores dan fe de su disposición y el párroco bendice a la gente y les asegura las oraciones de la parroquia al comenzar el próximo período de su jornada de fe. 

Rite of Election/Rito de elección: (Period 3)
All those who have participated in the Rite of Sending are invited to a chosen location by the Diocese of San Bernardino, normally on the First Sunday of Lent to be welcomed by the Bishop and the Church../Todos aquellos que han participado en el Rito de Envío son invitados a un lugar elegido por la Diócesis de San Bernardino, normalmente el Primer Domingo de Cuaresma para ser recibidos por el Obispo y la Iglesia. 
Period of Enlightenment/Período de Iluminación: (Period 3)
The time of Lent becomes a time of deeply spiritual preparation for the celebration of the Easter sacraments.  Each week the parish community prays over those preparing for the sacraments of initiation so that they may be ready as humanly possible to be baptized or make a profession of faith, be confirmed, and receive first Eucharist./El tiempo de Cuaresma se convierte en un tiempo de profunda preparación espiritual para la celebración de los sacramentos pascuales. Cada semana la comunidad parroquial ora por aquellos que se preparan para los sacramentos de la iniciación para que estén tan preparados humanamente como sea posible para ser bautizados o hacer una profesión de fe, ser confirmados y recibir la primera Eucaristía. 
Celebration of Sacraments of Initiation/Celebración de los Sacramentos de Iniciación: (Completion of period 3)
The night before Easter is the time that the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist are celebrated.  Those people who have already been baptized into a mainline Christian faith do not need to be baptized again, but will make a profession of faith into the Catholic Church. All are then confirmed in their faith, and as Mass continues, they make their First Communion.  The new Catholics are then sent forth with the rest of the parish community to love and serve the Lord and one another./La noche anterior, antes del dia de Pascua es el momento en que se celebran los sacramentos de iniciación: bautismo, confirmación y eucaristía. Aquellas personas que ya han sido bautizadas en una fe cristiana principal no necesitan ser bautizadas nuevamente, pero harán una profesión de fe en la Iglesia Católica. Luego, todos son confirmados en su fe y, mientras continúa la Misa, hacen su Primera Comunión. Los nuevos católicos son enviados con el resto de la comunidad parroquial para amar y servir al Señor y unos a otros. 

Mystagogy/Mistagogía: (Period 4)
The journey of faith is not over at the Easter celebration of the sacraments of initiation.  At least for the next six weeks, they continue to meet together to share their stories of initiation and discern ways that they can best use their gifts to contribute to the life of the Church. This is a joyful time as the newly received into the Church gives thanks to God for the gift that has been given to them./El camino de la fe no termina en la celebración pascual de los sacramentos de iniciación. Al menos durante las próximas seis semanas, continúan reuniéndose para compartir sus historias de iniciación y discernir las formas en que pueden usar mejor sus dones para contribuir a la vida de la Iglesia. Este es un momento de gozo en el que los recién recibidos en la Iglesia dan gracias a Dios por el don que les ha sido dado. 

The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or RCIA (children/youth), is a communal process and journey into the Catholic Church. The RCIA for children/youth has been adapted from the RCIA for adults and its formulation has been carefully worked out for children/youth. The RCIA process is a powerful restoration by Vatican II of practice first started by the early Church in the third century when many people were converting to Christianity during Constantine's rule. Since its re-establishment in the early '80s, the RCIA process has been successful in renewing the whole adult Church. It is hoped that through participation in the RCIA for children/youth that they will be exposed to the truth of the One-Holy-Apostolic-Catholic faith, encounter Jesus, be converted to Jesus in a profound way, and be encouraged to participate more fully in the Church community. We pray that as Baptized and Confirmed Catholics they will be motivated to receive the Eucharist each week at Mass and to continue their religious education into the future so that they come to know love and serve God as practicing Catholic Youth/Young adults/Adults.