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Welcome to RCIA at St. James!

Contact the Office of Faith Formation @ (607) 729-6147 ext. 322 or Call (607) 760–1551 and leave a message for Terri Barnes

Meets: Tuesday evenings from 7 – 8:30 PM and during 9:30 AM Mass on Sundays
When: From about October – June (Pentecost)

NEW-Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Inquiry Sessions

Are you interested in becoming Catholic? Is there someone you know among your family or friends who is interested in learning more about the Catholic faith? An inquiry session about the Catholic faith will be held on the following Tuesdays: August 23rd, and September 6th, 20th, and 27th. Sessions will be held in the McDevitt Room in the basement of the rectory. Entrance to the McDevitt Room is along the parking lot side of the rectory building. If you have any questions, please contact Terri Barnes at the Parish Office, 729-6147 ext. 322.

RCIA Frequent Questions

Are you or someone you know interested in becoming Catholic?

The R.C.I.A., or the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, is the process by which a person enters the Catholic faith. Many individuals are soul-searching and asking questions regarding Christianity and in particular how one can become part of the Catholic Church. Also, many people who have been away from the Church, or who have not completed their sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) wonder how to return and become active participants.

Who is the R.C.I.A. for?

  • It is for those who have never been baptized and are seeking information on becoming a Catholic Christian.
  • It is for those who are baptized and have joined us from another Christian denomination but have little knowledge and experience of what it means to be a Catholic Christian. The Catholic Church respects your Christian upbringing and the faith experiences that are part of your life. Becoming Catholic does not mean rejecting your previous faith background. You can now live it out in the Catholic Church.
  • It is for adult Catholics who would like to complete the sacraments of initiation: (Eucharist and Confirmation)
  • It is for anyone considering Catholicism as a way of life who wishes to explore the tenets of the faith to inform their decision.

What are some aspects of the process?

  • STUDY: RCIA sessions are weekly on Tuesday evenings from 7- 7:30 PM.
  • WORSHIP: The expectation is that the candidate is participating at Sunday liturgy weekly. When the period of Catechumenate begins you will be expected to attend 10AM liturgy on Sunday to be dismissed from liturgy to study the Word of God.
  • PRAYER: Through participation in Sunday Mass, “retreats”, personal devotional time.
  • SOCIAL: The community is an important aspect of Christian life. Participation in various parish events is encouraged.
  • SERVICE: Outreach to others is essential to the Christian way of life. Sponsors introduce their candidates to the opportunities available and help make the connections.

I’m not much of a student. Is this a “class”?

This shouldn’t be considered a “class”. We want you to discover God on a personal level. There are no tests, no grades. It is a time for you to grow in the awareness of your relationship with God and with the Catholic Church.

What if I get started and decide this isn’t for me?

Faith in God and the decision to become a member of the Catholic Church are personal choices that must be made in an atmosphere of complete freedom. We will try our best to help you understand what it means to be a Catholic Christian. But we sincerely believe that you must be allowed to use God’s gifts of conscience and free will without feeling any pressure from us. We will rejoice in your decision, whatever it is.

What is a Sponsor?

A sponsor is a confirmed, active member of the Catholic Church who is willing to be a friend and guide, and to participate in the RCIA with you. If you don’t know of anyone to ask, we will be happy to introduce you to someone.

Can my spouse or fiancé be my sponsor?

A spouse or fiancé may participate in the RCIA with you as your sponsor. They may also choose to participate and be there for you, but not as your sponsor. You may choose someone that is a practicing and involved Catholic that you know, or we will choose a sponsor for you from St. James.

Is there a cost for participating in RCIA?

No. Most everything you need is covered.

May I bring a friend?

Yes, we encourage it! As a matter of fact, spouses, fiancés, and sponsors are especially encouraged to join us on a regular basis.

Am I obligated to become Catholic?

There is no obligation on participants to become members of the Catholic Church. Anyone seeking information about the Catholic faith is welcome to attend our sessions. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and dialog with the material. There are times during the RCIA process for you to explore your intentions and continue to discern God’s call. Everything shared during the sessions will be treated with confidentiality and respect. The RCIA is a time of exploration, where people can ask questions and learn about the Church. People coming from other faith groups may have many questions about Catholicism, and areas where they don’t feel comfortable. Don’t worry. Each person is given the space to question, to think for themselves, and to take all the time they need to make a decision about joining the Church.

What do sponsors do?

Sponsors actively participate in our meetings and celebration of the Sacraments. They converse regularly with the participant in an ongoing process of faith development. Their promise is to be good listeners and to help participants to know where God is leading them without pushing them in any direction.

How does a person become Catholic?

The process is composed of five stages:

  1. The Pre-catechumenate, or inquiry period, consists of informal meetings to explain the process and answer questions about the Roman Catholic Church. This is a time for inquirers to decide whether they wish to continue with the process. There are Inquiry sessions 1-2 times a month during the summer and earlier if there is a need. These Inquiry sessions become more formal in the fall, usually going every week of September and October.
  2. At the beginning of the catechumenate or instruction period ( last weekend in October or first weekend in November), inquirers are formally welcomed by the Parish community and enter a period of more structured preparation listening to presentations and joining in discussions based on scripture readings and other topics of importance such as the Sacraments, the meaning of the Mass, and Catholic morality and social teaching. At this time the Candidates and Catechumens are dismissed from the Mass to Study the Word of God and how it affects their life.
  3. For the Rites of Sending and Election (First Sunday in Lent), the Parish sends the candidates to the Bishop who, on the part of the entire Catholic Church, accepts the catechumens as the “elect” and blesses the candidates who will be received into the Church at Easter. At this time the Church enters the Lenten period in preparation for the celebration of Christ’s passion, death, and Resurrection. For the candidates this is a period of spiritual purification and enlightenment.
  4. At the Church’s greatest feast, the Vigil of Easter, the “elect” will be baptized and all of the elect and candidates will be confirmed and receive the Eucharist at the Parish community’s greatest liturgical celebration.
  5. Mystagogy, the fifty day period between Easter and Pentecost, the new members of the Church community, called “neophytes”, begin a time of reflection and begin to live out their sacramental call to service in the life of the Church.

Are there things I can do to prepare before RCIA starts?

RCIA sessions begin more formally in September. Please consider this an invitation to participate in any of the events of the parish before and during RCIA:

  • Attend Mass
  • Read the weekly bulletin (available online and at Mass)
  • Attend any events that interest you
  • Feel free to talk with Terri Barnes, the pastoral associates, or any of the priests to get your questions answered
  • While at the church at any time, just say you’re in RCIA and anyone will be happy to answer questions and welcome you.
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Mass Schedule & Directions

Weekend Mass Schedule

Saturday Vigil: 5:00pm

Sunday: 7:30, 9:15, and 11:45

1st & 3rd Sundays (Vietnamese): 4:00pm

Daily Mass Schedule

Monday - Friday: 6:45am

Morning Prayer

Monday - Friday: 7:15am


Saturdays: 9:00am - 10:30am

Holy Hour

1st Monday of the Month: 7:00pm

Holy Day Masses

Day of: 6:30am, 9:00am

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147 Main Street
Johnson City, NY 13790
(607) 729-6147