Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA) (name change for RCIA)

At the 10:30 Mass this weekend, the First Sunday of Lent, St. Henry’s is blessed to have two participants in the Rite of Sending. Then, at a service which takes place at the Basilica later in the day, Henry, who is not yet baptized, will be presented to the Bishop and David, already baptized, will be recognized for his response to the Call to Continuing Conversion. 

What is the OCIA?  To be more faithful to the Latin text, RCIA will now be known as the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults. Coordinators of this process have been awaiting a revision of the entire document for some time.  The name change applies both to the process by which one enters the Church and the book that contains the ritual text and prayers for those steps. 

The new revision includes four groups:  catechumens -unbaptized adults and children seven years of age and older; unbaptized infants; baptized non-Catholic Christians, and baptized Catholics in need of Confirmation.

To become a Catholic, individuals go through several rites with the final being at the Easter Vigil when they are welcomed into the Catholic Church.  The Easter Vigil rites have also been adjusted. They will now focus more on the validity of baptisms received in other Christian denominations.  The new edition will also include texts for infant baptisms at the Easter Vigil, a feature not widely practiced before this change.

Now that you have read thus far, I want to emphasize the role of the assembly in the OCIA process.  I see all parishioners as apprenticing those who come forward expressing interest in the Catholic faith.  All parishioners are called to continuing conversion and to accompany others in the conversion process.  How do you see yourself participating in the process?  Granted there is an OCIA Team and Sponsors, all parishioners are apprenticing, moving alongside and with the inquirers, catechumens, and the elect. 

May each of us embrace ever more fully our role in evangelization within our faith community. 

Best wishes and blessings as we journey in faith together,


In Christ,

Sr. Carrie Link, PBVM