Becoming a Catholic

The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the process through which non-baptized adults and baptized non-Catholics are received into the Catholic Church. As many as half a million people, in the United States alone, are converted to the Catholic faith each year through the RCIA program.

Candidates are gradually introduced to aspects of Catholic beliefs and practices as they study the Gospel, share traditions and customs, and explore prayer. Each participant has a sponsor who is either personally chosen or assigned him or her, as a guide through the RCIA process. Catechists, who have been trained by the Diocese of Metuchen, assist and support the candidates.

The RCIA group at the Church of Saint James attends the 10:30 am Mass each Sunday and is dismissed after the homily to meet in the Pastoral Center to share Scripture and catechesis on the tenets of the Catholic faith, prayers and reflection, plus theological insight that allows for the continual discernment of God’s will in the lives of the candidates.

The Saint James RCIA program has been highly successful for 19 years. Each September a new group of 5-12 candidates undertakes the process. As they begin to learn Catholic doctrine, they also begin to get to know the parish community. Candidates improve their relationships with God. They acknowledge their faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist, and are fully received into the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday. Weekly meetings continue until June, as the new members reflect on their conversion experiences and continue to learn more about the Scripture, sacraments, and the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The RCIA involves the whole parish: in prayer, as the rites are celebrated; in hospitality, as new members are welcomed; and in specific ministries, such as sponsorship and catechesis.

For more information, contact Frank Sinatra at 908- 766-1335 or fas82678@aol.com.