RCIA - Join the Faith

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 One of the most important things we do as a Church is to invite others to become a real part of the Roman Catholic faith.  The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) provides a chance for adults to become a part of something special, as well as to become something better.  It is an opportunity to examine one's faith, to explore one's direction, and to express one's commitment to God.

    St. Zachary is fortunate to have a knowledgeable and caring group of RCIA facilitators, who throughout a six month process will reveal teachings and insights about the sacraments, doctrine, and crucial matters of faith to adults who wish to become fully received into the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil Mass.
   There will be an orientation meeting, usually the last week in September.  If you are interested in joining RCIA please contact Deacon Jack Smith at 847 956 1175 or rep@saintzachary.org



Ten top reasons to come to RCIA—not in any particular order.


1.      You want to become Catholic.


2.      You are marrying someone outside the faith and they need to know more about our faith.


3.      You are Catholic, and did not receive all of the Sacraments of Initiation—Reconciliation, Eucharist, Confirmation.


4.      You have children to teach and don’t know the faith well enough.


5.      You have a friend or family member interested in learning more about the faith, who would be more comfortable if you came with them.


6.      You have experienced a loss of some kind in your life and need a small faith community.


7.      Your spouse is not Catholic, and might be interested in joining our Church as your children are receiving first communion or confirmation.


8.      You are Catholic, and would like to learn current Church teaching and practice.


9.      You’ve heard it is a great experience.


10.  God is calling you.



For more information, contact Deacon Jack Smith at (847) 956-1175 or rep@saintzachary.org.




RCIA is the process by which adults enter the Catholic Church. or by which baptized Catholics complete the sacraments of initiation, that is First Communion and Confirmation. Baptized Catholics who have not received the sacrament of confirmation usually attend an adult confirmation series.

RCIA is a teaching and learning process. During the year we will be presenting all of the major teachings of the Church. But it is far from just a classroom learning experience. It is also a small faith sharing community that journeys together toward Easter, where non-Catholics enter the church through baptism or a profession of faith, and Catholics complete the sacraments of initiation.

During the year, we will be praying together, partying together and learning together. During the year we will be experiencing God through various Rites. An overview of the year follows.

RCIA Part 1 October-December

The faith journey begins in October where we look at “What is Faith” We look at how we learn about God, and what kind of God are we experiencing. We see God revealed as Father-creator, Son-redeemer and Holy Spirit—sanctifier and sustainer. We see God revealed in the Bible. Most of this first section is really covering our basic beliefs as found in the Creed.

The period ends in early December with the Rite of Acceptance. This rite is performed during a weekend mass. This rite is merely a decision on your part to Accept what you have been given, and to intend to pursue your faith journey in January.

RCIA Part 2 January to Lent

We gather in January to continue the faith journey. The material presented becomes a bit more specirfic. We begin by looking at prayer and the Church. Then we begin three sessions on what it means to make an ethical, moral decision as an adult Christian. In these sessions many of the major moral teachings of the church are presented. This part ends near the beginning of Lent, the period before Easter that the church prepares for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At that time the second major rite takes place. This is called the Rite of Election in which you “elect” to receive sacraments at the Easter Vigil mass. It takes place at Holy Name Cathedral, and you will be called by name and welcomed by one of the bishops of the Church of Chicago.

RCIA Part 3 Lent

Lent is the time for preparation for reception of the sacraments. During this period, we will concentrate mainly on study of the sacraments themselves, and on living a Christian life. At least once in this period we will also gather with our whole parish at mass, and the congregation will pray that you have accepted Jesus and are ready to receive him as our nourishment and guiding light toward eternal life.


The faith journey of RCIA culminates in the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Saturday Vigil of Easter Sunday. The sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion take place during this mass. During the time after Easter, the RCIA community will celebrate what has been received.


RCIA sponsors are parishioners who will help you become part of the parish and to feel welcome. Those of you who are not Catholic may find the mass to be confusing. Sponsors often attend mass with you and can help you understand the mass and also to feel part of the worshipping community. Sponsors are also there to answer questions you may have and to help you with any problems that may come up. They are on the faith journey with you and want to share their own faith along the way.

RCIA sponsors are not usually god-parent sponsors for Baptism or a sponsor for Confirmation. Normally theses are your relatives of friends that you choose. RCIA Sponsors can fill those roles, if that becomes your personal choice due to circumstances in your family, but they are not the usual choice.

For more information, contact Deacon Jack Smith  Contact Us page.