Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults welcomes people into the fullness of the Catholic Church. It is the process by which people become members of the Church and consists of a set of sessions in which those who are interested in the Catholic faith journey together toward a deeper understanding of that faith. In the process, the candidates are offered sacraments they have not yet received (Baptism, First Communion or Confirmation as needed).

The program starts with a period of inquiry. During this period, no commitment is asked or expected of anyone and people are given time to learn more about what the Church offers them. Then the process continues with presentations and discussions covering various aspects of Catholic life. RCIA is for anyone who wants full membership in the Catholic Church.

It is available to those who were:

  1. Not raised with any religious affiliation
  2. Raised in a non-Christian faith
  3. Baptized into a Protestant faith
  4. Raised Catholic but never received all of their sacraments (i.e. First Communion and Confirmation).

RCIA at St. Mary’s

RCIA at St. Mary’s usually begins each fall in October or November. The RCIA team meets with the candidates all together roughly once a week. The day and time chosen varies according to the schedules of each year’s group. RCIA reaches its culmination at the Great Easter Vigil. At this Mass – the most magnificent and important of the Church year – the RCIA participants receive their sacraments and are fully initiated into the Catholic Church. A reception follows in the Parish Center, allowing parishioners to meet and welcome their new Catholic brothers and sisters.


The RCIA program at St. Mary’s is headed by Deacon Ron Dowding. For more information, or to register, please call the rectory at 508-429-4427. We will then put you in touch with R.C.I.A. team. Welcome!