RCIA: Becoming Catholic

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Rite of Christian Initiation of Children
How to Help
Photos from the 2019 Easter Vigil by Katy Seefeldt


What is RCIA?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a communal process of spiritual and educational formation for adults who seek to become full members of the Roman Catholic Church through a conversion of mind and heart. The process is open to all persons, regardless of religious background or philosophical persuasion, who genuinely seek, by God’s grace, to live their lives in the distinctive Catholic Christian faith.


RCIA serves:

  • Adults who are seeking baptism
  • Baptized Catholics who want to complete the Sacraments of Initiation
  • Christians from other denomenations who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church


When does RCIA meet?

We meet throughout the year. Beginning in September, we meet every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with a few exceptions. We meet in the Cafeteria.


How to Get Started:

Attend an inquiry meeting held periodically throughout the year, or complete this form:

Upcoming RCIA Events:

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Topic Presenter


Sponsor Meeting What is the role of sponsor?  Qualifications & criteria – level of commitment.  Do’s and Don’t’s Maxine Coats & Deacon Rich


Meet and Greet – Inquirers – Sponsors – Team Initial gathering of inquirers, potential sponsors, the RCIA team, and the clergy of our parish


Church Tour – Pop Quiz – A Starting Point – Catholicism The sacred space of the Church of Saint Mary is rich with symbolic meaning. Recent renovations of the church include a new facade in the sanctuary, the inclusion of statues of Mary, St Joseph and the child Jesus.  Other symbols and icons.  The new marble altar contains relics, a piece of bone or clothing from five saints, embedded into the altar, blessing the space with its holiness. The sacred space floor is decorated with mosaics of the seven sacraments of the Catholic faith.  The stained glass window of Our Lady Of Grace on the east wall is a tribute to our parish namesake. Mike & Dennis Ziegler


Beauty – Awe – and Wonder Everyone appreciates beauty. We seek out the beautiful natural wonders of our planet, great music and art. It is beauty that inspires us and bring a sense of wonder and awe to our lives. Beauty at it’s best transcends the normal.  Our search for God and the truth of Christ’s Incarnation is embellished by the beautiful sights, sounds, smells and love it invokes.  Architecture, sacred art, sacred music – The physical spaces of Catholic churches and cathedrals are rich with symbolic meaning. Everything the Catholic sees upon entering a place of worship has a particular meaning when someone knows how to read it. Most cathedrals and many churches are laid out in some form of a cross, the most recognizable Christian symbol. A relic, a piece of bone or clothing from a saint, is embedded into the altar of almost all Catholic churches and cathedrals, blessing the space with its holiness. The sacred spaces are decorated with statuary, paintings, and other forms of visual art that depict scenes from the lives of Christ, Mary, and the saints or representations of Catholic doctrines like judgment, salvation, and a heavenly future. Some cathedrals have ceilings that reach toward the heavens to send the believer’s soul soaring to the skies. The stained glass windows are art, storybook, and catechism all rolled into one, laying out stories from the lives of Jesus, Mary, and the saints. Mike Malcom


Mystery & Sacraments What does it mean when we say ‘the mystery of faith’.  The Mysteries of Christ’s Life

cc paragraph 512 – Concerning Christ’s life the Creed speaks only about the mysteries of the Incarnation (conception and birth) and Paschal mystery (passion, crucifixion, death, burial, descent into hell, resurrection and ascension). It says nothing explicitly about the mysteries of Jesus’ hidden or public life, but the articles of faith concerning his Incarnation and Passover do shed light on the whole of his earthly life. “All that Jesus did and taught, from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven”, is to be seen in the light of the mysteries of Christmas and Easter.

The seven sacraments are rituals that carry the Catholic from the cradle to the grave. The purpose of the sacraments is to confer grace to the believer, and bring him or her into closer relationship with the divine. The recipient must have faith in God and the sacraments for them to be efficacious; in other words, the person must present no obstacle to the salvific work of the sacrament for it to have its intended effect, which is to strengthen that faith. The sacraments are divided into three categories: initiation, healing, and vocation.

Fr. Duy Nguyen


Rituals – Icons & Sacramentals The Catholic world is filled with both visual and verbal symbolism, and nowhere more so than in worship and ritual. Every word and action in Catholic rituals point beyond themselves to the divine life of God and the believer’s salvation.  Whatever symbolism the Church employs is but a tribute and reflection of the deeper symbolism that God has set forth in the world.  Some have called icons windows to heaven – symbols pointing to reality. What are symbols? Symbols are objects, figures, paintings, images that point toward reality.  So the image on an icon is not the saint himself (or herself). When one contemplates an icon the image points us in the direction of the reality of that person, who is still alive in the presence of God.  Sacramentals are sacred signs instituted by the Church. They prepare men to receive the fruit of the sacraments and sanctify different circumstances of life Deacon Gary Gamino


Rite of Acceptance – Main Church 10:30 am Mass After an interview with a priest, or RCIA director, the person, known as an “inquirer,” may seek acceptance into the Order of Catechumens, through the Rite of Acceptance. During this Rite, the inquirer stands amidst the parish community and states that he or she wants to become a baptized member of the Catholic Church. The parish assembly affirms this desire and the inquirer becomes a Catechumen. Mass Presider & Deacon Rich


The Mass – The Great Prayer of the Church Every Sunday, Catholics gather together to celebrate the Mass. But do we understand the deeper meaning of what happens there?  A ‘teaching Mass’ Fr. Jack Gleason


Apostolic Church – Magesterium Though Jesus saves us as individuals, he calls us to live out our salvation as members of a communion of believers. But that can be hard if we don’t understand what the Church is and what it is meant to be. Why does the Church claim to have authority over what Catholics believe? How do we reconcile both the divinity and humanity of the Church that Christ himself created? Why is the Church essential to the life of every believer? Msgr. Dennis Dorney


Myths, Legends & Misconceptions Are Catholic Christians?  Confession – A license to sin?  Catholics worship icons and images.  Catholics pray to and worship saints, especially Mary.  Catholics bibles have added books / content different from all other Christian denominations.  The pope cannot make any errors and everything he says the Church is obligated to believe because Catholics claim that the pope is infalible.  Catholics believe that persons can earn their way to heaven.  Catholics allow people to buy their way out of punishment that results from sin.  Catholics aren’t allowed to read the bible and/or don’t know much about the bible.  Calling any person ‘father’ goes against explicit instruction in sacred scripture. Catholics baptize infants because they are not confident that older persons would choose to remain Catholic if given the option when they could decide for themselves.  Celibacy is unnatural and a source of temptation for unmarried priests.  The Mass is not biblical and is an invention of the Catholic Church. Fr. Duy Nguyen


Mary & The Saints What do we think of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and how does our relationship with her impact our relationship with her Son? What is the connection between our understanding of Mary and the rest of the saints? Why do we ask Mary and other “dead people” to pray for us? Jane Bender


Scripture – A Faith Library Is the Bible more than just a collection of ancient writings, more than simply an important historical document to be appreciated but ultimately dismissed? Is it possible that God reveals his truth to us through Sacred Scripture? If so, what does that really mean for our faith? Ken Coughlin


A Run through Salvation History The story of salvation – Creation, Fall, and Redemption … begins with Creation itself—and a decision that affects all of us to this present day. How did the events of an ancient past set into motion God’s rescue operation to save us from eternal death? Fr. John Grant (?)


Holiday Off – Thanksgiving Week Give thanks to Lord for He is good.  His love is everlasting.


Church History – Our Journey Thus Far Roman Catholicism is a worldwide religious tradition of some 1.1 billion members. It traces its history to Jesus of Nazareth, an itinerant preacher in the area around Jerusalem during the period of Roman occupation, in the early 30s of the Common Era. Its members congregate in a communion of churches headed by bishops, whose role originated with the disciples of Jesus. Over a period of some decades after Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, the bishops spread out across the world to form a “universal” (Greek, katholikos) church, with the bishop of Rome (traced to the apostle Peter) holding primacy. Today Vatican City — and specifically, Saint Peter’s Basilica — stands over the grave of Peter, and the pope is considered Peter’s successor. Catholic Christianity began as a persecuted religious community, illegal in the Roman Empire in its earliest days, but within some three hundred years and with the conversion of the Emperor Constantine, it became legal and eventually was recognized as the official religion of the Empire. With the decline and fall of Rome in the 5th century, the Roman Church assumed both temporal and spiritual authority in the West; it thus had enormous influence on the development of the art and culture of the western world through the Middle Ages. Today, its growth is fastest in Africa, South America, and Asia. Ken Coughlin


Traditions – Big & Small A presentation on Catholic Church traditions both big and small.  Some examples of Big Traditions are dogmatic teachings of the Church and the precepts of the Church.  Small traditions are sacramental in nature such as the Sign of the Cross, genuflecting when in the preserved presence of the Body of Jesus in the tabernacle or in exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Deacon Kevin Maloney


Rectory Advent Party A visit to the Rectory hosted by our parish priests.


Christmas Break Time of reflection and preparation for the celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus


Christmas Break Time of thankgiving for the gift of Jesus – the gateway to reconciliation with God


New Year’s Break Preparing for spiritual resolution and the final preparation for full communion


Prayer – Building Our Relationship with God What is prayer?  Reasons to pray – types of prayer.  A conversation?  How do we listen or hear what God is saying?  How do I start or how do I maintain or how do I grow in a life of prayer. Fr. Michael Pratt


Authentic Worship – The Mass Each element of the Mass has a symbolic meaning and a historical reference. Some elements, such as the acclamation known as the Kyrie (Greek for “Lord!”), symbolize the Church’s ties to its historic roots; others, such as the greeting known as the Sign of Peace, symbolically weave the individual believers into a community. A sacred choreography takes place as participants stand, kneel, and sit for various elements. The believer is inundated with symbolism in the midst of all these ritual actions, and in the ritual words as well, which are designed not only to guide the believer to salvation but also to enact the teachings of the Church. The development of doctrines such as those concerning Christ’s human and divine natures; the rejection of heresies, such as the formulation of the Nicene Creed to negate the belief that Christ was a created being; the importance of the Church itself in the flow of salvation from God to the believer – we may say that the entire history of the Church is symbolically contained within the Mass. Fr. Jack Gleason


Eucharist – The Source & Summit of the Christian Life It looks like bread and wine, yet it is called the Real Presence of Jesus. It is also called the Eucharist, but many Catholics would struggle to explain what that word means. What do Catholics really believe about the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and why has it become the center point of the Mass and our lives as Catholics? Fr. Duy Nguyen


Grace & the Sacramental Life of the Church Catholic understanding of grace as quantitative verses a presence or absence.  Includes a discussion of what it means to be saved and whether or not Catholics believe they are saved or not.  The role of sacraments in the spiritual life of the Church (meaning us) … what they do … how it works … what our part is … what the priest part is … etc Fr. Jack Gleason


Ongoing Conversion & Reconciliation – Pathway to Discipleship Once saved – always saved?  Faith alone?  The role of works – my part?  Why confession in a belief system of an all knowing God, a merciful God, a God I can communicate with directly … why do we need an intermediary (ie the priest in the confessional)? Msgr. Dennis Dorney


Heaven, Hell and Purgatory What the Church teach about the after life?  What is heaven?  Where is it?  What will it be like? Is there really a Hell?  The Church identifies persons as Saints – those named persons believed to be in heaven – what about Hell … who, by name, is in Hell?  What is purgatory?  Is it like limbo?  By the way what is limbo?  Does the Church still teach about this state of the soul? Deacon Gary Gamino


Our Resurrection -Life after Death What does the Church really teach about death, judgment, Heaven, and Hell? It’s time to separate the myths from the reality. Deacon Steve Craig


Participate in Solemn Vespers


A Word on the Rite of Election – A Decision Point

The Rite of Election, an annual liturgical celebration is the most significant evangelization event of the liturgical year in any diocese. Catechumens (the unbaptized) and candidates (already baptized and on the journey to full communion with the Church) come to the Cathedral with their sponsors.

They come to bear witness to their developing faith and their commitment to Christ and the Church.  They come to gather, in the presence of their Bishop for the first time, to declare their intentions and their commitment to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist, or to be joined fully to the Church. They come to experience, for the first time, a sense of belonging to a larger, universal church and to celebrate with others on the journey.

Deacon Rich Bender


Rite of Election – Holy Family Cathedral Gather as a community of believers at Holy Family Cathedral 8th & Boulder to meet with Bishop David Konderla Deacon Rich Bender


Ash Wednesday – Group Mass Attendance – Our Mortality The beginning of the liturgical Season of Lent – start of the penatentient season leading up to Easter.   Receive ashes on the forehead in the shape of a cross signed by the priest, deacon or lay minister.  Reminds us of our mortality and of our need to repent and seek forgiveness and to give alms and sacrifice for others and for ourselves. Fr. Duy Nguyen


The Three Sacraments of Initiation Most of us are familiar with the word “sacrament.” We participate in sacramental rites often as Catholics. But do we understand what a sacrament is—and what it means for us and our everyday lives?  Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist …. Why these 3 as Sacraments of initiation?  What is the basis for this?  Is this uniquely Catholic? Fr. Jack Gleason


Spring Break Take a breather and get ready for the final push toward full communion.


1st Scrutiny – A Deeper Look at Reconciliation For the candidates (baptized Christians desiring full communion with the Catholic Church) the Sacrament of Reconciliation restores our relationship with God to the fullness of His grace poured out to us from His never-ending mercy.  A discussion of the effects of sin, the need for repentance and forgiveness, coming ‘eyelash to eyelash’ with God via the priest ‘persona Chrisit’.  Biblical references, tradition and apostolic nature of this sacrament. Fr. Jack Gleason


2nd Scrutiny – The Creed A walk through the Nicene Creed – its historical roots – a dissection of its parts – the Trinitarian nature – the role of tradition and of the magisterium and the guidances, inspiration, and safe guarding of the truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Presentation of a copy of Creed in the Marian Chapel Fr. Duy Nguyen


3rd Scrutiny – The Our Father Reinforcement of the power of prayer and the need to pray in a common and communal way.  A careful look at the Lord’s Prayer, the “Catholic version” that separates the the words given by Jesus into prayer and doxology.  The Roman Catholic Church calls the words “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever” (or similar) a doxology. The word “doxology” is from the Greek doxologia, meaning “glorifying” or “praising God,” often found at the end of a prayer or hymn.   Catechumenates and Candidates will receive a copy of Lord’s Pray as part of the 3rd and final Scrutiny in the Marian Chapel Deacon Kevin Maloney


RCIA Retreat 10 am – 2 pm As we prepare to conclude our journey to full communion with the Church, we reflect and pray on our ready state using Scripture taken from the liturgies of the Triduum. Fr. Jack Gleason, Fr Duy Nguyen, Deacon Rich Bender, Maxine Coats


Chrism Mass – Holy Family Cathedral Renewal of priest vows and promises to the Bishop of Tulsa and the presentation and blessing of the holy oils that will be dispersed throughout the Diocese for use in the sacramental life of the church.  These oils are the tangible link between the Bishop and all peoples / souls he is entrusted with to share the Good News of the Gospel.


The Lord’s Supper – 7 pm Holy Thursday – The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated as we remember the institution of the priesthood by Jesus.  We are reminded, too, of what it means to serve in the ceremonial washing of the feet by our priests as Jesus did for His disciples at the Last Supper.  At the conclusion of the Mass the Holy Eucharist is removed from the main church and taken in procession to the Marian Chapel for adoration and preservation for use at a Communion Service on Good Friday.


Stations of the Cross – 3 pm Stations of the Cross are a devotion collection of prayers as we meditate on the passion and death of Our Lord and Savious Jesus Christ.  On Good Friday the Stations are prayed at 3 pm .. The traditional hour that Jesus died on the cross.


Veneration of the Holy Cross – 7 pm Remembrance of the passion, death and burial of Jesus and an opportunity to venerate the instrument of our salvation, the wood of the cross.  The liturgy includes a communion service whereby those in full communion with the Catholic Church and prepared to do so come forward to receive the body of Jesus in Holy Commuion.


Easter Vigil Practice 10 am A Walk through of the Rite of Initiation at the Easter Vigil for catechumens, candidates and their sponsors.


Easter Vigil 8:30 pm The Easter Vigil is the culmination for those in the RCIA program as they enter into full communion with the Catholic Church receiving as necessary the sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church, Bapism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.


God’s Salvation Justification and Grace Deacon Rich Bender


Service of Light Liturgy of the Word – Liturgy of Baptism & Confirmation Deacon Rich Bender


The Eucharist Source and Summit of the Christian Faith Deacon Rich Bender


The Spirituality of Stewardship Living as Disciples of Jesus Deacon Rich Bender

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