The Catholic Church Welcomes You!
Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic faith? People are drawn to explore the Catholic faith for many different reasons. Perhaps they experienced a Catholic Mass at the time of a wedding or funeral and were attracted by the prayer and ritual. They may have witnessed the source of hope and comfort a Catholic relative, friend, or co-worker found in their faith at a time of difficulty or crisis.
Any one of these experiences—or a thousand more like them—might have started you thinking about what it would be like to be a Catholic. How do you find out? Where do you start?
By visiting this Web-site, you have taken the first step!
Order of Christian Initiation for Adults —
A Journey of Faith!
From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion. 1229 Catechism of the Catholic Church
How Do I Get Started?
The Catholic Church has a process called the Order of Christian Initiation (OCIA - formerly RCIA) to help you learn more about the Catholic faith.
You will begin with a one-on-one meeting with the OCIA Co-Director. This is a good time to share where your faith life has taken you and what brought you to this point. Any questions you may have will be addressed.
The OCIA process is an extended period during which you will be given pastoral and spiritual formation and guidance for living the Catholic faith in the world.
OCIA is not an instructional program—it is a process of conversion created by the Church to welcome those who wish to learn more about the Catholic faith and in turn may want to become Catholic.
As you discern God’s call for you as an individual, you will experience rituals of commitment and the Sacraments of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist), which will begin for you a new life of love, faith, and justice lived in communion with Catholics throughout the world!
Conversion: What is it and what does it mean?
- Conversion means change, moving from where we are to where God would have us.
- Conversion affects every part of our being, giving us a new way of understanding ourselves and the world around us.
- Conversion is an on-going, lifelong process initiated by God.
- We do not control conversion—we accept it as coming from God, drawing us closer to Him and His unconditional love, which we then willingly share with others.
Did You Ever Ask Yourself . . .
- Is there really a God? Who is Jesus?
- What is the meaning and purpose of my life?
- How can I become part of something bigger than myself?
- How are Catholic Christians different than Protestant Christians?
- Does God have something to say to me?
- How can I know the right path for me?
- Why does God permit evil on earth?
- Is there an answer to our suffering?
- How can I learn to forgive? How can I find peace?
Who is OCIA Intended For? A Person Who . . .
- Has never been baptized and desires to learn more about the Catholic Church and its teachings, with the goal of becoming a Catholic Christian;
- Was baptized in another Christian faith-tradition and desires to be in full communion with the Catholic Church;
- Was baptized Catholic and desires completion of the Christian Initiation Sacraments: Confirmation and/or Holy Eucharist (Communion);
- A Returning Catholic who has been away from the Church for a while and desires to become fully reconciled in order to once again receive the Sacraments.
Area of Study Includes . . .
- The Trinity, Faith, and the God Who is Love
- Divine Revelation: God Seeks Us
- The Bible: God's Love Letter to Humanity
- Story of Salvation: Creation, Fall, Redemption
- Who is Jesus? Just a Good Man or Lord of our Lives?
- The Paschal Mystery: Jesus' Death and Resurrection
- The Holy Spirit and the Life of Grace
- Why Do I Need the Church?
- Mary and the Saints
- The Last Things: What Happens After We Die?
- The Seven Sacraments
- Walk Through the Mass: Sacred Liturgy
- Catholic Moral Vision: Virtue, Grace, and the Path to Happiness
- Church History, Papacy; Magisterium
- Traditions of Prayer; The Holy Rosary
- Tour of the Church
- A Love That Lasts: Discovering Authentic Love and God's Plan for Sexuality
- Catholic Social Teaching
- Questions, questions, questions, and much more!
Resources are available for private study:
Register at: www.FORMED.org; Access Code: 4KR96N (case sensitive)
How Often Does OCIA Meet?
The sessions are held on Sundays from 9:30 am to 11:00 am, September through Pentecost, in the Parish Hall. We also offer a “Year Round Process” so you may inquire or participate any time throughout the year.
9:30 am to 11:00 am - Sundays in Parish Hall
Welcome and Fellowship
Session; Discussion; Sharing; Q&A
Outline of the OCIA Process
1. Period of Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate
This is a time for inquiry and introduction to Gospel values—an opportunity for the beginnings of faith.
2. Period of the Catechumenate
This is a time for the nurturing and growth of the catechumens’ faith and conversion to God; celebrations of the Word and prayers and blessings are meant to assist the process.
3. Period of Purification and Enlightenment
During the Lenten season and immediately preceding the elect’s initiation at the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday, this is a time of reflection, intensely centered on conversion, marked by the celebration of the Scrutinies, Presentations of the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, and a Retreat.
4. Period of Postbaptismal Catechesis or Mystagogy
This is a time during the Easter season that follows the celebration of the Christian Initiation Sacraments at the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday. The newly initiated fully experience being a part of the Catholic Christian community by means of pertinent catechesis. They now participate fully in the Sunday Eucharistic celebrations.
The OCIA Team
In addition to our Pastor, Rev. Paul Pecchie, the Team consists of Co-Director Michele Niemier, Co-Director Jim Lehmann, and a dedicated group of Catholic Christian catechists who have a love of our Lord and a strong desire and passion to share their faith with those exploring the OCIA process.
The Team is eager to travel with you on your Journey of Faith, be there for you to answer your questions, and welcome you in Christian love.
For More Information
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the Catholic Church, please contact OCIA Co-Director Michele Niemier in the parish office at 352-796-2096, ext. 108, or e-mail at [email protected]
Testimonies From Past RCIA Participants . . .
"The focal point for me was realizing the significance of the Eucharist.
Receiving the Host and Wine truly reminds me of Christ’s love and sacrifice as never before. Praise God!”
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"I feel more in touch with Christ since I started the OCIA process. It has brought me and my family closer together.”
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“It was an incredible experience and I should have done it sooner.
I enjoyed every minute and feel it taught me so many important things about Jesus and the Catholic faith.”
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"The OCIA process strengthened my beliefs and understandings of what Jesus sacrificed for us.”
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“The relaxed, no-pressure approach, was critical for me. I was welcomed and allowed to participate at my personal comfort level.”
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“I felt cared for and supported. The Role of Sponsor is significant; I have a new good friend now who is my sponsor.
Budding relationships with other seekers, hopefully, will develop into lasting friendships.”
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COME AND SEE!