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The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process through which adults learn about the teachings of Jesus as the Catholic Church has handed them on and put these teachings into practice by living as part of the Catholic community, serving others and praying.

RCIA is for three groups of people

  • Those who have never been baptized in any faith,
  • People who were baptized in another Christian faith, and
  • Baptized Catholics who have never received the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.

RCIA has several aspects

Spiritual – candidates attend part of Sunday Mass as a group each week. They learn new ways of praying, and they look into themselves to discover what God is saying to them now.

Educational – candidates learn what the Catholic Church believes about God, about Jesus, about the Bible, and about what the Church teaches.

Community – candidates are encouraged to be part of the parish and to attend parish events and celebrations. Their sponsors are representatives of the parish community.

Service – In the Bible, Jesus directs us to “love your neighbor as yourself”, and lets us know that “whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” Following Jesus, RCIA asks each candidate to contribute 2.5 hours of service to the needy between October and March by helping to serve dinner at Catholic Charities.


At Holy Name Cathedral, the next RCIA program will begin on a Sunday, September 28. The program meets nearly every Sunday morning. The Easter Vigil Mass will be on April 4, 2015 (Holy Saturday- - the night before Easter). At this Mass those who need to be baptized will receive the sacrament, and everyone will receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.

The Sunday morning schedule looks like this:
9:30 AM
Meet in the Cathedral for Mass
10:00 AM
Candidates are given a blessing and dismissed to the Parish Center for “Breaking Open the Word”
10:30 AM
Sponsors join candidates after Mass for coffee
10:45AM Input session – a teaching on a major aspect of the Catholic faith
End of session

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Some ask if attending RCIA is like taking a course. It is and it isn’t! Most importantly, RCIA is a process which helps a person figure out what God is saying to him or her at this point in life. The emphasis is on personal reflection, prayer, and service to the less fortunate.  There are also formal presentations on subjects such as God, Jesus, the Sacraments, and the Scriptures. There are no quizzes or exams.

Many ask if a fiancé, spouse or friend may act as a sponsor. The answer is yes, as long as this person is a baptized and confirmed Catholic. Sponsors are expected to attend all RCIA sessions . Additionally, Holy Name is blessed with a number of parishioners who volunteer to act as sponsors.

What is the charge for RCIA? There is no cost. RCIA is an important component of Holy Name’s mandate to spread the Gospel.

Sometimes people begin RCIA and, after several sessions, realize they are not ready to be received into the Church. There is no pressure to complete the process.

Registration Questions

The next RCIA program will begin on September 28. If you would like more information, or to register, please contact Kelly Heus at 312-573-4434 or kheus@holynamecathedral.org or Carol Miller at 312-573-4427 or cmiller@holynamecathedral.org.

. . If you search for God honestly and sincerely, you will find Him. . . .
For Yahweh, your God, is a merciful God and will not desert . . . you . . .
Deut. 4:29-31