How does an adult become a member of the Catholic Church?

There are several ways. The Catholic Church warmly welcomes new members and tries to provide appropriate spiritual and catechetical formation according to each person’s needs. You may see notices in the bulletin about RCIA, which means Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. RCIA is a process for those who wish to inquire about membership in the Catholic Church. This could mean: Someone baptized in another Christian Church; A baptized Catholic who has not completed Initiation (First Communion and or Confirmation), or who has not been a practicing Catholic; A non Catholic spouse who wants to find out more about the faith.

RCIA is a process enabling anyone who wishes to look into or inquire about membership in the Catholic Church. It could be:

  • Someone not baptized
  • Someone baptized in another Christian Church
  • Or even someone baptized Catholic but who was not educated, or exposed to
    a faith experienced, as a practicing Catholic.
  • Sometimes a non-Catholic spouse just wants to know what Catholicism is all

An RCIA community meets weekly, and often attends Mass together.

In the RCIA there is an inquiry period, usually until the beginning of Advent, which looks at general beliefs and traditions, answering questions. From January to the beginning of Lent, we reflect more deeply on the Church and its Sacraments. Lent becomes a time for those desiring initiation in the church to prepare for the Sacraments of Baptism (if not previously baptized), Confirmation and Eucharist, which will be celebrated at the Easter Vigil.

The RCIA has a team composed of members of the parish. Several members of the faith community will journey with the team as sponsors for the participants.

The St Thomas Aquinas Canadian Martyrs family invites you or anyone you know to come and explore the Roman Catholic Church and its traditions. For more information and an explanation of the RCIA process contact at 423-3057, or email   or email


Learn about RCIA

Are you:

  • Interested in becoming Catholic?
  • A Catholic who wishes to receive Confirmation and/or First Eucharist?
  • Interested in helping someone you know become fully initiated in the
    Catholic faith in the sponsorship program?

Then RCIA is for you.

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a program for adults who desire to become fully initiated members of the Catholic Church. The goal of the RCIA process is full, conscious, and active participation in an exciting life with Jesus Christ within His Catholic Church. RCIA helps adults grow in their relationship with God, become familiar with Catholic teachings and practices,
get acquainted with the faith community, and get involved in service within the community as a whole.

And, if you are a fully initiated Catholic, you can sponsor a RCIA catechumen or candidate. A sponsor is a friend or companion who can help the catechumens and candidates. A sponsor is a practicing member of the parish.

A four step process…

Step 1: Period of Inquiry

  • Unique to each individual
  • Time for asking questions
  • Time to intensely examine one’s personal relationship with God
  • Sponsors accompany catechumens and candidates on their journey

Step 2: Period of Catechumenate

  • Begins with the Rite of Acceptance & Welcoming into the Order of Catechumens
  • Time of learning the teachings of the Church and beginning to accept Catholic teachings and practices
  • Sponsors accompany catechumens and candidates on their journey

Step 3: Period of Purification and Enlightenment

  • Begins with Rite of Election
  • Catechumens are now called the Elect
  • Time of intense preparation during Lent to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus at Easter and to receive the Sacraments of Initiation

Step 4: Period of Mystagogia

  • Begins with the reception of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist during the Easter Season
  • Time of reflection on the commitment made to the Lord, the Church, and the faith community
  • Time of finding a place in the community and getting involved

Catechumen or Candidate?

Many people who want to join the Catholic Church have already been baptized in another Christian church. They do not need to be baptized again. They will follow a form of these four steps adapted to their particular needs and concerns.

Others may have been baptized in the Catholic Church and need to complete the sacraments of Initiation by receiving First Eucharist and/or Confirmation. All will have an opportunity to grow in their relationship with God and learn more about the faith before receiving these Sacraments.

Unbaptized persons are known as Catechumens. Those already baptized are called Candidates.

So are YOU ready for the journey?

For more information from STACM, contact or email


Office Hours

Office Hours:
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. until 4 p.m

Phone (902) 423-3057
Fax ## (902) 484-6944


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