Eng Esp Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

RCIA

What is RCIA? RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is not a sacrament, but rather the process by which persons become fully initiated Catholics. RCIA is for adults:

  • Who were never baptized.
  • Who were baptized in another Christian faith and who wish to become Catholic.
  • Who were baptized Catholics but were never confirmed.

If you fit into one of these categories or know people who fit into one of the categories please contact the Parish Office. Staff members will interview them to help them enter into the RCIA process here at Patron Saint.

RCIA meets weekly on Monday evenings beginning in September. The team and candidates attend the 9:00 a.m. Mass each Sunday at our parish. Sessions typically include prayer and instruction on some aspect of the Catholic faith. The RCIA group each year becomes a small community and imitates the Patron Saint community in learning how to become a Catholic. RCIA supposes that people have questions about becoming a Catholic, and as we answer the questions, the program helps the people to grow in faith.

Following the guidelines of the Bishops, candidates are initiated gradually through prayer and a series of liturgical rites. Most of the early rites take place at the 9:00 a.m. Mass on Sundays at Patron Saint. Candidates receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil, the highlight of the Church year.

RCIA Sponsorship
Each RCIA candidate is paired with a parish sponsor who also attends the weekly sessions.

What does it take to be an RCIA sponsor?

  • A desire to be a friend and companion during an important time in someone’s life.
  • A commitment to the RCIA community and journey.
  • An eagerness to learn, that will benefit both you and your candidate.
  • Being a confirmed Catholic who regularly practices their faith and leads a life in harmony with the faith.

A sponsor attends the weekly RCIA sessions with each candidate or catechumen. He/she helps the newcomer to learn about the Catholic faith and about our parish. You don’t have to be an expert on the Catholic faith, but you do have to be someone who values your Catholic faith and wants to share it with others. Through RCIA we are building people of faith into the Church, just as the apostles did!

Being an RCIA sponsor is a big commitment but it also offers big rewards. Besides helping someone join the church, you’ll make new friends, have fun, and learn a lot about your own Catholic faith! Sponsors often comment that their faith has been renewed.

When Are Sponsors Needed?
Patron Saint asks sponsors to attend the program right from the start of RCIA. In the early sessions sponsors help to provide a welcome to the newcomers. Many recent RCIA participants say that Patron Saint’s spirit of friendly hospitality was an important factor in their decision to join the Church.

After about 8 weeks, RCIA participants who wish to seriously explore membership in the Catholic faith are paired with a parish sponsor. A candidate may ask you to serve as his/her sponsor or the RCIA team might match you with a candidate or catechumen who needs a sponsor.

What Can You Do?
Many people of the parish cannot make the commitment of time to become a sponsor in the RCIA program. However, all members of the parish community at Patron Saint are asked to pray for our candidates. The journey of faith for all of us is a unique and sometimes a difficult process. The support of the community is the gift that has sustained many of our candidates in the past.

For more information about this program please call the office at 818-899-0278.