RCIA

Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) sessions are now taking place year round. Please feel free to inquire about these sessions any time.  There is a break for summer months but will continue in the fall.  The program completes in the Easter Season.  These sessions are designed for those who desire to enter the Catholic Church and those who have interests, questions, or doubts about the Catholic faith. Our pastor, Fr. Joseph Toledo, would love to meet anyone interested in getting more information and anyone who is already signed up for the sessions.

Please contact Deacon Rick Antinora by email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or call the office (970-226-1303) to schedule an appointment.

Which adult religious education opportunity is most appropriate for me?

St Elizabeth Ann Seton parish offers a number of religious education programs which are valuable for adults:

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is intended for people wishing to join in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.  Over the course of a year, you will learn about the basics of our faith and the teachings of the Church.  At Easter, you are invited to join the Church including the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist, as appropriate for your needs.

Adult Confirmation is available for people who have received Catholic religious education but wish to receive the sacrament of Confirmation.  This is less in depth than the full RCIA program.

Religious Education is available for the youth, of course.  Typically First Eucharist is received around age 7, and Confirmation in grade 10.  This includes the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC), which is similar to RCIA but targeted at children.

Please contact Deacon Rick Antinora by email ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or call the office (970-226-1303) to schedule an appointment.

What is RCIA?

“Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Also call the "catechumenate," this method of Christian formation and initiation goes all the way back to the early Church.  Over time, however, the practice gradually disappeared. It was restored by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) to meet the needs of an increasingly secularized population in Europe and North America, and in places like Africa and Asia where the Gospel was still relatively unknown.

RCIA is not a program, but a gradual process in which one who, after hearing the mystery of Christ explained, freely chooses to follow him in the faith of the Holy Catholic Church.

RCIA consists of four periods: the period of Inquiry, the Catechumenate, Purification and Enlightenment, and Mystagogy.

The first period, the period of Inquiry, usually starts in January, though it can start anytime. During this period individuals are introduced to Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. The period of inquiry focuses on the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) which reveal the true face of Christ. This period can last any length of time, although it usually lasts about three months. There is absolutely no commitment expected at this time. It is simply a time for listening and asking questions.

After this introductory period you may decide to take the first, important step in becoming Catholic. During this period you will learn about Catholic beliefs and practice with a view toward making a firm commitment to Christ and his Church. This period is called the Catechumenate. Like the period of Inquiry, the Catechumenate can last any length of time, but it usually lasts about three or four months.

The next step begins the period of Purification and Enlightenment. This period coincides with the season of Lent (early spring). It is a time of strengthening one's commitment through prayer, fasting and careful reflection on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. This period culminates at the Easter Vigil* with the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion.

Once a person has received the sacraments of initiation he or she becomes a "neophyte," which means "beginner" or "novice." The fourth and final period is called Mystagogia, which lasts for seven weeks and ends at Pentecost (around June 1). During this period the meaning of God's Word, the sacraments, Christian life and prayer is experienced and reflected upon more deeply. It is a time of growth as one's faith matures through worship, study and prayer.

*In 2017, Easter Sunday is April 16th.