The Catholic parishes in Cedar Falls and Waterloo welcome individuals or families who are interested in joining the Catholic faith community and anyone who is interested in learning more about the Catholic faith.
For individuals who have never been baptized or catechized in the Christian faith, the parishes provide the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For individuals who have been baptized, catechized, and participating regularly in another Christian church, the parishes offer theRite of Christian Reception of Adults.
Both rites offer a combination of personal preparation and discernment in a small group format, combined with public liturgical ceremonies which celebrate an individual's gradual incorporation into the Catholic faith community.
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The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is modeled on the initiation ritual of the ancient Christian community. It is an experience of personal formation and spiritual growth which incorporates prayer, study, reflection and discernment in a combination of public rituals and community experience. It is the principle way that the Catholic community welcomes new members who have not been baptized in another Christian church.
You may enter the RCIA process at any time. Formal preparation for initiation usually begins in the fall and may last a year or longer. It generally includes the celebration of the sacraments of Baptism, First Eucharist and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil in the local parish.
Participants in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults are assigned an individual sponsor, a member of the community who will accompany them on their journey through the initiation process.
• Read more about the RCIA.
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The Rite of Christian Reception of Adults (RCRA) is an adaptation of the Rite of Christian Initiation designed particularly for adults who have been baptized, catechized and are participating in another mainline Christian church. The Rite of Christian Reception is a shorter period of discernment and preparation which concentrates on the distinctive characteristics, rituals and teachings of the Catholic Church.
You may join the RCRA process at several times throughout the year. Individuals participating in the Rite of Christian Reception meet weekly, generally for a period of about eight weeks and usually concludes with a profession of faith and celebration of First Eucharist and/or Confirmation during a Sunday Mass in the local parish.
Participants in the Rite of Reception are assigned a guide, a member of the Catholic faith community who will accompany them on their journey through the reception process.
• Learn more about the RCRA
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There are many factors which may influence which Rite is most appropriate for a particular person.
The decision to participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation or the Rite of Christian Reception is a decision you should make in consultation with the pastor or director of faith formation in the parish you plan to join. A friend or family member who knows you and your religious experience may also be helpful in deciding which Rite is best for you.
Generally, you should consider participation in the Rite of Christian Initiation if:
• You were never baptized in any mainline Christian church;
• You were baptized but not raised or catechized in a Christian denomination;
• You have never participated regularly in a Christian faith community
• You do not feel that you understand the basic truths of the Christian faith or feel comfortable participating in a Christian faith community;
• You are interested in learning more about the Christian faith;
• You are interested or have decided to become a Catholic Christian.
Generally, you should consider participation in the Rite of Christian Reception if:
• You were baptized in another mainline Christian church;
• You were catechized and raised in a Christian faith tradition;
• You have participated regularly in a Christian faith community or attending a Catholic faith community on a regular basis.
• You feel you have a good understanding of the basic truths of the Christian faith and feel comfortable participating in a Christian faith community;
• You are interested in learning more about the Catholic Church;
• You are interested or have decided to join the Catholic Church.
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If you have been divorced and remarried, your marital status may affect your freedom to join the Catholic Church. Generally, Christians who were validly married in another Christian denomination and later divorced must seek a Declaration of Nullity ("Annulment") in order to remarry.
• How divorce and remarriage affect Initiation and Reception.
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Individuals become members of the Catholic Church by being baptized or making a profession of faith in a local Catholic community, which is called a parish. If you are not familiar with one of the Cedar Falls or Waterloo parishes or have not decided which one to join, you may do so during your participation in the Rites of Initiation or Reception.
How to choose a parish
Register to Join the Catholic Church
How Do I Join the Catholic Church
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Children ages 4 or younger are usually baptized without formal preparation if at least one parent is an active Catholic and parents attend a preparation class before the baptism.
• Preparation for Baptism
Children ages 5 to 6 may be baptized following a short period of informal preparation, depending upon the custom in the local parish.
Children ages 7 or older should participate in a period of formal preparation such as Children's Initiation before being baptized or making a profession.
Monday, March 27, 2017, 6:30-8 pm
Adult Faith Formation Room, Blessed Sacrament School, Waterloo
You may also schedule an appointment with the Director of Adult Formation by email: firstname.lastname@example.org