Becoming Catholic

Becoming Catholic

"The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.”

- Pope Francis


You’re not alone! Each year, many thousands of men and women, from all backgrounds and all walks of life, enter into the Catholic Church. They followed an exciting and joyful path of discovery and discernment on their spiritual pilgrimage into the heart of Catholicism.

The Coldwater Cluster Parishes (Holy Trinity, St. Anthony and St. Mary) would like to welcome you to that journey. We invite you to learn more about the Catholic faith through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

What is RCIA?

The RCIA is the Catholic Church’s way of initiating new members. It welcomes new members and tries to provide an appropriate spiritual formation for each inquirer.

The RCIA, through prayer, study and conversation, helps individuals come to the truth of the Catholic faith. However, the RCIA is not simply a class or program. It is a process of conversion. It is a journey through the faith that seeks to discover the purpose for our lives, foster community and create a life-long love for Jesus Christ.

There are various rites that celebrate and solidify what we have reflected upon. These rituals are part of the process that leads to a greater understanding of Christ and His Church.

How long does it take?

While the call to conversion is one that lasts a lifetime, the process for becoming Catholic through the RCIA is approximately one year, in most cases. The initiation of new members ordinarily takes place at the Easter Vigil each year.

Who may participate in this process?

Those who have never been baptized as Christians.

Those baptized in another Christian faith tradition who are now interested in the Catholic tradition.

Those baptized in the Catholic tradition whose total formation has never been completed.

Those who are Catholic but would like to learn more about their faith.

When and where?

Day and time for sessions varies from group to group. We strive to accomodate anyone who wants to become Catholic by working with work and family schedules. The meetings will take place in the Parish Office in Coldwater. There will also be various rites which will be celebrated on some Sundays throughout the year.

It is also possible to make other arrangements for individuals who cannot meet at this time due to schedule. We don’t want anyone to miss out on this journey simply because of a scheduling conflict.

What topics are presented and discussed?

The weekly sessions cover a broad range of topics because the Catholic faith encompasses the whole fabric of our lives. Topics include (but not limited to):

- God

- The Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)

- The Person of Jesus Christ

- The Bible

- Human nature

- The Church, Her Structure and Mission

- The Sacraments of the Church

- Prayer

- Worship and Liturgy

- Mary and the Saints

- Conscience and moral decision making

What if I decide to discontinue?

There is no obligation to make any kind of commitment nor is there any pressure exerted on anyone to become a Catholic. If, after beginning the process, an individual decides to discontinue, we will be supportive and respectful of his/her decision.

Our hope is that through this process, you will gain a deeper understanding of Catholic beliefs and practices, while growing in your relationship with God.

How do I begin?

If you decide you would like to further explore the Catholic faith through RCIA, or you have questions or concerns, please contact Cindy Muhlenkamp (cmuhlenkamp@coldwatercluster.org). Cindy can also be reached by calling the parish office (419-678-4802).