Post # 1
Just wondering if any of you or your FIs are doing/have done RCIA…If you are, what’s the process like? I’ve heard some people think it’s a really good experience and others were kind of annoyed with the long process. Also, I heard somewhere that you aren’t allowed to do Pre-Cana and RCIA at the same time…is that true? I know it finishes with the Easter Vigil Mass, but what time of year does the program typically start? One more question: does anyone know if you can start RCIA in one diocese/church and then finish it somewhere else?
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Post # 3
I just finished my RCIA clases last year, and I was confirmed Easter, 2008. The process was really great for me. We met once a week to discuss Catholic theology, practices, etc… Then, we also met during Mass to discuss the readings and homily while everyone else was taking the Eucharist. I chose to do RCIA at that church because it was a small class (5-7), a year-long program, and I really liked the priest who was conducting the classes. I felt very comfortable in my classes sharing with both the priest and my classmates.
From what I understand, RCIA classes can vary depending on the church. I know of people who have to complete a set program of so many classes over a pre-determined timeline. I also know of a guy who basically couldn’t move on to the next step until the priest determined he was ready (it took him about 2.5 years to finish). Sometimes it’s a big class, sometimes it’s a small class. Sometimes clery members teach it, but I know my current church actually has members of the church teach. If you are interested in doing RCIA, you will probably need to talk to the person at your church to find out the specifics.
There is absolutely no reason why you can’t complete RCIA and Pre-cana classes at the same time, though. If a Catholic is marrying a non-Catholic in the Catholic church, the couple still has to do Pre-cana (even thought they can’t have a nuptial mass). And since you would be a "Catholic-in-the-works" (for a better term), I don’t see why they would turn you away; although you should always check with your specific church to make sure. Also, you can definitely start RCIA at one church and move to another for completion. People in my class were all at different stages of completion (from not being baptized up to having everything done except confirmation). Most of them had started in another church sometime in the past and only started at my church when they were finally ready to be confirmed.
Messgae me if you want more details, but my best advice is to call your church and talk with the person in charge of the RCIA.
Post # 4
Thanks so much Mrs. Spring!
I’m actually Catholic already…it’s the FI thats doing RCIA. I just don’t have a lot of experience with RCIA and how it works. He’s officially Episcopal right now, and he’s been wanting to do RCIA for a while, and we’re just trying to figure out when the best time would be.
We’re going to be moving back to our hometown and getting a new church and all about 18 months before the wedding (long engagement 🙂 )…so we’ll probably talk to people from the RCIA programs when we start trying to pick a new church. I know the church I go to now has a 6-month RCIA program, but I understand that’s pretty unusual.
Thanks so much for the information!
Post # 5
I went through RCIA last year and we got married in January. Its a great way to learn more about the catholic person’s back ground and help get an understanding on where they are coming from… weither you convert or not.
Its a very personal decision, my husband never pressured me but did encourage me to learn more about his faith. I did end up becoming catholic and I’m happy I made the choice
Also you MUST go through the engagment encounter…. it will make your relationship sooo much stronger.
Post # 6
Oh and as far as the time constraints…
we met once a week for 2 hours as a group, there was a leader who gave a lecture and then we could ask questions. about halfway throught he process you start "dismissal" which is where the group leaves the congregation during mass and goes over the readings in a seperate room during communion.
Post # 7
I went through RCIA last year. As it happened I did my pre-Cana work afterward, but I don’t see why they couldn’t have been concurrent. My RCIA classes started in September and ended at the Easter Vigil. I joined a little late, around November, and everything was still fine. My classes were once a week for 2 hours, and either a lay person who ran the program or a priest would talk on the subject. Some of the priests were really interesting and insightful and others were more boring. You get a range of public speaking ability, just like in real life :).
Every church has its own RCIA program and usually its own Pre-Cana program too. I would contact a few different churches to find out which one will have one that’s right for you. Since it’s almost Easter it’s probably too late to do RCIA this year, but he will have lots of time to get into any program for next year for confirmation at Easter. I believe it is possible to be confirmed at other times of the year than Easter, but you have to have extenuating circumstances. Also, the Easter Vigil confirmation is so special!
I would contact your church to find out how their programs work. Our Pre-Cana program was the Three to Get Married program (similar idea to Engaged Encounter) and that was through another church entirely than the one doing the RCIA. So absolutely it could be concurrent, or even do your Pre-Cana before RCIA.
Better than the RCIA classes to me though was the reading I did on my own. I devoured books on Catholicism and Christianity while I was going through RCIA. I must have read more than 20 books in less than a few months. I have a list of all the different things that I read on many sorts of topics (conversion, belief in God, specific Catholic theology, and more). I would be happy to share if you or he is interested!
Post # 8
Thank you TallBride and chelseamorning!!
It’s really helpful to get some perspectives on the RCIA process, and it sounds like mostly everything will depend on which church we end up choosing after the move, and how their specific program works. Thanks for the replies!!
Oh and chelseamorning, he’s going crazy reading books too! He just keeps gobbling stuff up! It makes me feel like I should be doing a bunch of reading too so he doesn’t end up being way more informed than me! I have read some of his books by Scott and Kimberly Hahn though, and I loved those.
Post # 9
FH is doing the RCIA right now as a matter of fact. And this Sunday is our last Pre-Cana class.
Every church is different in how they conduct classes. Some have really quick classes and some have classes up to 3 years to get through! Also, it is dependent on the priest who ultimately decides whether or not each "student" is ready. So I highly recommend to jot down any and all questions you and your FH may have to ask. With the beauty of technology these days, most churches have email! So just find out who you need to email and ask away! That’s what FH and I did and it was great!
Also, if the church you decide on allows it, I highly suggest you attend the RCIA classes with your FH. I’ve been attending classes with FH and it’s truly helped me to reaffirm my faith and beliefs.
Post # 10
Miss Texas, that’s a wonderful idea about going to the RCIA classes with him! I didn’t know they let people do that, but I really think that would be great for my personal faith, and it would probably help us to grow together a lot too. I’ll have to see if we can pick a church that will let us do that!! Thanks for the suggestion!
Post # 11
My FH and I are both doing RCIA right now. We were both raised Catholic, but never completed our confirmations. It has been a great experience, and we both feel like we have a great foundation to build our marriage on. We have met many people through the process also.
P.S. We have also been excused from the required meetings with our priest prior to the wedding because of our involvement with RCIA.