FAQs about OCIA and becoming a Catholic

Yes, OCIA is designed for people aged 18 or older who wish to explore and perhaps join the Catholic Church, and for adult Catholics who wish to complete their sacraments of initiation. Each parish has separate faith formation programs designed especially for people younger than 18.

Generally speaking, no. If you have already been baptized in another Christian faith, you will not be rebaptized Catholic. There are some exceptions, so you will want to speak to a priest about your specific circumstances.

Coming into full communion with the Catholic Church describes the process for entrance into the Catholic Church for already baptized Christians. In most cases, these individuals make a profession of faith but are not baptized again.

Your spiritual path is highly personal, but be assured that the process of learning about and considering joining the Catholic Church is one of accompaniment and fellowship, not a solitary journey. You will be supported by your priest or pastor, others in OCIA with you, the OCIA team, your parish, as well as a sponsor who will journey with you through the entire process.

Candidates for baptism usually celebrate their initiation into the Church on the holiest of nights – the Easter Vigil – where they are baptized, confirmed and receive first Holy Eucharist. Candidates for full communion (people who have already been baptized but need to complete the other sacraments of initiation) may celebrate their Rite of Reception several other times throughout the year. Check with your local parish for details.

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 OCIA with you. If you don’t know of anyone to ask, your local priest or OCIA coordinator will be happy to introduce you to someone.

Yes, as long as they meet the qualifications listed above. Talk with your pastor or OCIA coordinator about your options for a sponsor.

Generally speaking, OCIA participants meet in a classroom but it 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.

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. Your local parish’s priest and OCIA coordinator will help you understand what it means to be a Catholic Christian. But, if at any time you no longer want to continue, we respect your decision and you are free to depart. We will continue to pray for you!

No. We supply you with everything that you need.

You must receive the sacraments physically from a Catholic priest, and preparation classes are required before an adult may become a Catholic. Most parishes offer in-person classes, and in some cases online courses may also be available. Contact your local parish or a Catholic church near you for information about available options.

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