Baptism and Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:19-20)
PREPARATION: Most children born into a Catholic family are baptized as infants. Arrangements should be made as soon as possible after birth. Baptism is the beginning of a child’s journey of faith. Through the faithful example of parents and godparents, a child will grow to become a follower of Christ and an active member of the church.
WHEN AVAILABLE: The Sacrament of Baptism takes place during Saturday evening or Sunday morning Mass. Baptism during the Mass allows the worshiping assembly to renew their own baptismal vows and affirm and welcome our newest member with the light of Christ.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT BAPTISM: From the The Catholic Catechism "The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation. He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them. Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments."
The Church, after the Second Vatican Council, has restored the order of the Catechumenate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). It outlines the steps for the formation of catechumens, bringing their conversion to the faith to a greater maturity. It helps them respond more deeply to God's gracious initiative in their lives and prepares them for union with the Church community. This process is meant to form them into the fullness of the Christian life and to become disciples of Jesus, their teacher. This includes an initiation into the mystery of salvation, the practice of faith, hope, and love, and other virtues in a succession of liturgical rites.
Christian initiation of children who have reached catechetical age (often referred to as RCIC) is intended for children not baptized as infants. They seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or guardians or, with parental permission, on their own initiative. The process of initiation thus must be adapted both to their spiritual progress, that is, to the children’s growth in faith, and to the catechetical instruction they receive Persons baptized into another Christian church and now seeking full communion with the Catholic Church are also welcomed to participate along with catechumens in the RCIA in the process of being formed in that faith. They bring to the process of preparation their prior experience of Christian life and prayer. For a baptized Christian, reception into full communion with the Catholic Church involves reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and then a Profession of Faith followed by the celebration of Confirmation and the Eucharist