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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

If you have ever thought about becoming Catholic, have not completed Confirmation or another sacrament, or want to learn more about the Catholic faith, then RCIA is for you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does RCIA stand for?

It stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

When and where do the classes meet?

RCIA is held every Wednesday from 7 to 8:30 pm at the Newman Center Chapel.  We begin in mid-September and end in mid-April.

Who should attend the classes?

RCIA is for any GW students who is:

  • Interested in being baptized.

  • A baptized Christian of another denomination who is interested in learning more about Catholicism or is interested in converting.

  • A baptized Catholic who has not yet received first Communion, Confession, or Confirmation.

How do I register?

Registration for the 2019-2020 year is now open. Please fill out the form on this page, or contact Julie ( with any questions.

How late is too late to join a group already in progress?

Meetings begin mid-September, so November is the cutoff date for 2019-2020. No matter what the date, if you are interested, please contact Julie ( for more information.

Are there other time commitments besides Wednesday nights?

  • There is a one-day retreat in the Spring Semester.

  • There is a celebration (also called a "rite") on March 8, 2020.

  • The Initiation Mass is held during the Saturday Easter Vigil on April 11, 2020.

Is this a high-pressure program about becoming Catholic?

Not at all.  There is no pressure to receive the sacraments or to become Catholic.  We simply want to provide the means necessary if that is what you decide God is calling you to.  We are merely here to help you discern through prayer, instruction, discussion and community.

What exactly does the process entail?

RCIA is done in four stages.  The descriptions are as follows:

  1. Precatechumenate or Inquiry Period – This is a time to ask questions, build community, learn about the faith and conversion of heart.

  2. Catechumenate – This is a longer period marked by continued learning of the faith and its doctrines while also deeping one’s prayer life and sense of community.

  3. Period of Enlightenment and Purification – This is a more intense time of preparation for the sacraments. This period runs through Lent and is a time of deep prayer, conversion, and discernment.

  4. Mystagogy – This describes the period of time when the newly initiated Catholics are drawn more deeply into the life of the Church.

What if I have more questions?

Email Julie ( or call at 240-544-7585.