Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA)*
The Journey to Becoming Catholic
Are you looking to become Catholic? Maybe you have never been baptized or were baptized in a different Christian tradition, or perhaps you received Baptism as a child in the Catholic Church but never received your First Communion or Confirmation. If any of these strike a chord with you, then OCIA is the place for you!
The Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA) is a process by which parishes welcome new members of the Catholic Church through education, faith sharing, and liturgical rituals. This process includes several stages marked by prayer, study, and discussion, and community building. Included in the process are several Rites, which take place within the context of the Mass. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) describes OCIA as a process in which participants "undergo . . . conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments."
OCIA is tailored to the needs of each individual and one may take as much time as he or she needs in the initiation process before becoming ready for full initiation through the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. It is a process rather than an educational program and this process takes place within the community of the faithful, the local Church. All that is truly required is a sincere desire to learn, grow, and develop one’s relationship with God.
Who is OCIA for?
- The Unbaptized ("Catechumens"): Those not baptized who are seeking to grow in awareness of God’s call to conversion as well as ways to respond to that call
- The Baptized ("Candidates")...
- Anyone baptized into a non-Catholic Christian communion who wishes to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church
- Anyone baptized into the Catholic Church who did not complete the Sacraments of Initiation (e.g. Confirmation)
What to expect?
Sessions meet weekly from September until after Easter on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8 pm. If you are a Spanish speaker, we also offer OCIA in Spanish on Sunday mornings from 11:15 am-12:45 pm. The OCIA team leads the group in catechetical instruction using the Symbolon resource, large / small group discussions, and prayer.
By late October, Catechumens and Candidates will have chosen sponsors to accompany them on this journey of faith. During Lent, there are a series of blessings during the Mass to prepare those seeking Baptism to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. At the Easter Vigil (the night before Easter), those who desire to become members of the Catholic Church are brought into full communion with the Church. See the schedule below for full details.
How to sign up?
- Use the OCIA Inquiry Form to contact the ministers and set up an initial meeting.
- Once you have had your initial meeting with the ministers, use the OCIA Registration Form for us to gather important information so that we can best serve your needs.
- The ministers will add you to the OCIA newsletter which gives updates on important OCIA events, classes, and important upcoming information.
Fr. Brian John Zuelke, O.P. // 651.415.3337 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholic Community of St. Odilia, 3495 Victoria N., Shoreview, MN 55126
* More properly referred to as "Order" rather than "Rite," as will be reflected in new liturgical texts coming out soon