Youth 8 years old through 17 years who have not been baptized are invited to enter the
RCIA 4 Children process. RCIA stands for the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults" and is a process of conversion for unbaptized adults wishing to enter the Church.
RCIA adapted for Children prepares the child to celebrate all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) during the Easter season. This is a two year process and is a combination of age-appropriate religious education, sacramental preparation and rites of the catechumenate.
Year 1: Inquiry & Catechumenate Stages - This year of inquiry and catechesis consists of regular CCE classes and weekly B.O.W. (Breaking Open the Word Bible Study) prior to Sunday Mass.
- The initial period when a person begins asking questions about the Christian faith and the Catholic Church is called the Inquiry Stage. Once one decides to begin the process of converting to the Catholic faith they enter the Catechumenate Stage and begins training for a life in Christ. The catechumenate stage is when one develops their faith through "catechesis" — learning catechism, or the basic points about Catholic faith and life.
Year 2: Catechumenate Stage Continued, Purification and Preparation Stage & Initiation - In this second year the child continues basic religious education (CCE classes) on Sundays. Also, the child catechumen and their family participate in a monthly family class. During the Easter season the child celebrates the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Rite of Initiation Mass.
- The second year of basic religious education begins with a Rite of Election where the catechumens (supported by their parents and sponsor/godparent) enter into focused family preparation culminating with full initiation of the child into the Church.
Following Years: Mystagogy - Initiation into the Catholic Church is just the beginning of a child's life in Christ. After reception into the Church at Easter, the Mystagogy stage lets the child reflect and learn more about the mysteries of the Mass and the Sacraments that they now participate in fully. Because they are fully initiated at a young age, it is especially important that newly initiated children continue their religious educaiton (CCE Classes) through high school even though they have celebrated all three sacraments.