OCIA: The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults

OCIA is the process inviting people to know Jesus more fully, to know God’s love for them, and to prepare them for initiation into the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.  There are four periods and three Rites in the process:

  • Pre-Catechumenate or Inquiry:  A person comes with questions about the faith and a desire to know more about Christ and God’s love for them.

The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens is celebrated when the inquirer has begun to know Christ in the Gospel.  All parishioners are involved in evangelization because all can invite others to know Christ.

  • Catechumenate will be one year or longer.  During this time a catechumen becomes familiar with the Christian way of life and comes to know and follow Jesus more closely.  Our entire community, as well as sponsors and Godparents, are asked to help by their support and example.

The Rite of Election is celebrated at the Cathedral and our parish catechumens become "Elect" at this Rite.  During this Rite, our Elect, those called by God, continue on their path to the Initiation Sacraments that will be celebrated at the Easter Vigil.

  • Purification or Enlightenment is a period of more intense spiritual preparation.  It is a time to purify the hearts and minds of the Elect.  Three Scrutinies will be celebrated on the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent.  On these Sundays, our readings will be from Cycle A, and we hear Gospels from St. John.  These Scriptures are important as the Elect reflect on their lives to uncover what is weak and sinful, and bring out and strengthen what is good, strong, and upright.

Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation occur during the Easter Vigil.  On Holy Saturday evening, we gather with our Elect as they profess their faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Our Elect become part of the death and resurrection of Jesus by the pouring of the Baptismal water, and the anointing with chrism reminds them that they are now in the company of the people of God.  The outpouring of the Spirit is celebrated in the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Our Elect, now called Neophytes, receive the Body that was given for us and the Blood that was shed so they are strengthened in their gifts and are given a foretaste of the eternal banquet.

  • Mystagogy:  this Greek word means “Living the Mystery.” During this time our Neophytes and our community grow in deepening their understanding of the Paschal Mystery by meditation on the Gospel, sharing in Eucharist, and doing works of charity.


  1. All are called to Evangelize—Share Good News because of our Baptism.  Do you have a friend, a relative, a neighbor who just might be waiting for an invitation to Church?  Share your love of God with them and remind them of God’s love for them.  Join your friend at Church.
  2. Prayer:  Your prayer strengthens those who choose this journey of discipleship.
  3. Example:  Share your example of service, kindness and good works.  Invite a catechumen to join you in good works:  visiting the sick, collecting food for the needy, making dinners for Aid for Friends, driving a friend to the doctor.
  4. Sponsors:  Each catechumen needs a sponsor from the parish.  You are invited to share your faith with another adult, and you will find yourself growing in your own faith and relationship with God.
  5. Hospitality:  Share snacks with RCIA at weekly meetings.  If you like to bake and have more than enough, you might choose this way to come to know our adults involved in this process.  You could share once a year or more.
  6. Adults who desire to be Baptized, celebrate Confirmation and Eucharist are most welcome to email Deacon Dan Bingnear at Daniel.bingnear@gmail.com.You can also call the Parish Office at 610-485-0441, ext. 2 and leave a message for him.
  7. Adults who have been Baptized in another faith tradition are invited to inquire about the Catholic faith.
  8. Adults who would like to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation are invited to learn more.

OCIA Meetings are held every Wednesday of the month from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.  We meet in the Conference Room in the Parish Center.  During the summer, we meet on the First and Third Wednesdays of the month.  Each meeting, we read and reflect on our Sunday readings, and then we discuss a topic related to our faith.  Please contact Deacon Dan Bingnear at Daniel.Bingnear@gmail.com or call the Parish Office at 610485-0441, ext. 2, with any questions, to volunteer, or to join us on your faith journey.