"Life is a Journey;
All are Welcome!
OCIA is a process of study, exploration, faith-sharing, and faith formation with specific liturgical rites for seekers and inquirers. Seekers and inquirers are non-baptized adults who desire to be fully initiated into the Roman Catholic Church and/or baptized adult Christians who desire full communion in the Roman Catholic Church.
OCIA is designed for adults who are considering joining the Catholic Church through celebrating the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil.
The process welcomes those 18 years and older who have never been baptized and/or those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition.
For more information or to join St. Paul VI Parish OCIA contact Deacon Randy Belice by email or call the parish office at 708-447-1020.
Click here to fill out a short form to get more information about OCIA.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who participates in OCIA?
Three groups of people participate in OCIA:
1. Unbaptized Adults
The OCIA is primarily intended for unbaptized adults, who, upon hearing the Gospel message and receiving formation in the Christian way of life, choose to become followers of Christ by receiving the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
2. Adults Baptized as Christians
The OCIA process also serves adults baptized in a Christian denomination or community who are now interested in living out their Christian life in the Catholic Church. Any baptism that has been performed with water and the Trinitarian formula (invoking the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is considered valid; therefore baptism is not repeated. Rather, we welcome these men and women into the full communion of the Catholic Church through their profession of faith and reception of the remaining sacraments of initiation: Confirmation and Eucharist.
3. Adults Baptized Catholic
OCIA also includes adults who were baptized in the Catholic faith, but for whatever reason, did not complete their sacraments of initiation - Confirmation and Eucharist. These women and men are already a part of the full communion of the Catholic Church due to their Catholic baptism.
What is involved and when does it start?
OCIA is comprised of a series of stages of formation (each with a different focus) that are marked by ritual steps transitioning a person from one stage to the next.
Our next journey begins in late September or early October with the Inquiry stage. During this stage, we meet for an hour each week to begin to reflect on how God is calling us and what it means to have faith in Jesus. This is the time to ask questions and discern if becoming a Catholic is the right step for you.
In early December, we celebrate our first ritual which publicly marks our desire to officially enter formation for initiation into the Catholic Church. This ritual moves us into our second stage of formation. Here we examine Church teachings, beliefs, customs and traditions. We will continue to reflect on the Sunday scripture.
At the beginning of Lent, (the 40 days prior to Easter), we celebrate another ritual to recognize our progress of being formed in the faith and signals our readiness to begin final preparations for receiving the sacraments. This third period of formation, which coincides with the season of Lent, is more reflective and prayerful, including many special celebrations and rituals passed down from the early Church.
We celebrate the Sacraments and our full initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Service (after sundown on Holy Saturday – the evening before Easter Sunday)!
However, this is not the end, but rather the beginning of your life as a fully initiated disciple! We continue to meet for a fourth stage of formation, gathering a few times during the Easter Season (the 50 days after Easter) to help launch us into the next step of our faith journey and the rest of our lives as Catholic disciples of Christ.
What do Catholics believe?
While the Catholic Church is the largest religion in the world, it is sometimes also the most misunderstood.
The beliefs of the Catholic Church and her beautiful teachings are consistent through the ages.
We believe that human beings were created by God in love and that everything God creates is good and created out of love. While we have the capacity for sin, the Church believes in the dignity of the human person above all else.
We also believe that goodness infuses all of God’s wondrous creation. All creation, made by God, reflects that goodness. Catholics see the world and its beauty, renewed by the Incarnation, as sacramental – speaking of God’s goodness and love.
We believe in stewardship. Everything is given to us by God and our Catholic responsibility is to share our time, talent, and treasure with those around us.
We believe in the Holy Trinity, that God has revealed himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit – a communion of knowledge and love – has created us to share in that life.
We believe in community and a living Church – believers are a part of the living Body of Christ and, as such, we are a reflection of the communal nature of the Trinity.
We believe that God loved his creation so much that he became human in the person of Jesus to walk among us.
We believe in the communion of the saints – models of faith who help us and guide us in our daily lives.
We believe in Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection, and we hope that one day we will rise to new life with him.
Becoming Catholic today means joining an ancient faith, deeply rooted in the teachings and traditions of Christ, that is filled with hope and vibrancy as we continue to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to all the ends of the earth.
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