The faith community at OSJ joyfully welcomes all!

Those who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church and with us. The RCIA program, which begins in September is designed to offer those interested the opportunity to learn about the Catholic faith and to grow in relationship with Christ and one’s fellow sisters and brothers.

RCIA: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is for Anyone who:

  • is not baptized
  • is a baptized Christian and wishes to become a member of the Catholic Church
  • is a baptized Catholic who has not yet received all of the sacraments of initiation, i.e., Eucharist and Confirmation

Please contact Father Ed O’Donnell, S.J. at 215-923-1733, ect. 102 or

RCIA: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

A program for those who wish to become Catholic supported by those who already are!

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process whereby persons can explore the action of God in their lives that is leading to conversion. Fundamentally, this conversion involves growing into a greater knowledge of, and deeper relationship with, Jesus Christ and his saving death and resurrection. RCIA is celebrated with the Church’s rituals, and culminates in the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil.

As they become fully initiated members of the Catholic Church through the RCIA, women and men are empowered for lives of service and charity as witnesses to the Kingdom of God.

The experience of the RCIA takes place within the context of a Catholic Christian community, the parish of Old St. Joseph’s. It is into this local Church that participants in the RCIA are initiated.

For whom is the RCIA intended?

The RCIA facilitates the process of conversion and respects the individual’s journey of faith within the community. Three groups of individuals are welcomed to be part of the RCIA process:

        1. Unbaptized adults
        2. Adults who have been baptized in another Christian denomination and wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.
        3. Baptized Catholic adults who were never raised in the Catholic tradition or never confirmed.

What are the stages of the RCIA?

There are several stages in the RCIA process. Each one signifies a further growth in the individual’s relationship with the Lord and with the Church

  • The Inquiry Stage: A time to explore the movements of faith in an informal setting. (A 4-6 week period.)
  • The Catechumenate: A more formal period of formation which follows one’s formal acceptance as a Catechumen (“one being instructed”). (A 4-5 month period.)
  • The Period of Enlightenment: The immediate preparation for the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation. (A 6-week period during Lent.)
  • The Celebration of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are celebrated at the Easter Vigil
  • Mystagogy: A time to “explain the Mysteries” experienced at the Easter Vigil. (A 7-week period during the Easter season.)
    At Old St. Joseph’s, the RCIA process generally lasts from September through June. However, the program also respects the specific needs of the individual and can proceed at a pace more suited to those needs.

What are the expectations of the RCIA?

For candidates:

  • A desire to learn more about the Christian faith and the Catholic Church
  • Attendance at weekly RCIA meetings
  • Regular meetings with a sponsor
  • During the catechumenate, weekly attendance at Sunday Eucharist

For the Parish Community:

  • A desire to welcome and help new members
  • A willingness to examine the community’s commitment to living the Gospel
  • A willingness to share its faith experiences with new members
  • A willingness to serve as sponsors for new candidates
  • A willingness to keep the RCIA program in its prayer