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Becoming Catholic through the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults

Are you thinking about becoming Catholic?  Great!  Many adults who are thinking about becoming Catholic follow a process known as the OCIA --- the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults. 


Contact Christine Wagberg (248.547.1818 ext. 209) to learn more about the process and to schedule an appointment.

There are four developmental stages for individuals thinking about becoming Catholic.


The first stage is the inquiry stage.  You’re just looking.  You’re just wanting to find out about Jesus, Christianity, and the Catholic Church.  In this stage you are exploring and learning enough fundamentals – centered in Christ—so you can make an informed decision about seriously entering the Catholic Church.  Some examples of the formation topics that you can expect in the inquiry stage are:  What is Faith?  God Becomes Man.  What is the Holy Trinity?  The Bible.  What is Prayer?  Where Do We Go When We Die?  Saints: Holy Heroes.  The Mass: The Way We Worship.  Mary the Mother of God.

The second stage is learning about the Faith.  Your faith has developed and deepened and now you want to live in Christ Jesus.  The second stage is referred to as the catechumenate.  In this stage, you will learn about the sacramental life, how to live as a Christian, as well as social justice issues and respect for life.  Your focus now is to come into closer contact with our Living Lord and to learn more about the Catholic Faith.


The third stage is called the period of purification and enlightenment.  It is the final stage before receiving the Easter sacraments of initiation into the Church: baptism, confirmation and Eucharist.  (If you are already baptized with a valid baptism in another Christian church you will not be baptized again.  You will make a profession of faith.)  This period is a stage of intense reflection.  You are being called into a deeper relationship in preparation for receiving Jesus at Easter!  


The fourth stage is known as the period of mystagogy.  Mystagogy is a Greek word meaning “mystery.”  This period is a time for the newly baptized and those who have come into full communion with the Catholic Church to gain a deeper understanding of God’s word, the sacraments, and what your new commitment to Jesus Christ means for your life.  It is in this stage that you will be invited to participate more fully in the life of your new parish family.  In the period of mystagogy, you will be prayerfully engaged in developing a missionary spirit that will prepare you to bear witness to your faith in society in words and in deeds!


How long does it take to become Catholic? 

There really isn’t a single answer for everyone.  Normally the preparations to become Catholic can take about a year.  It all depends on your background.  There may be personal or family considerations that might make your process to become Catholic a bit longer.  Becoming Catholic means that you are falling in love with Jesus Christ and are taking the necessary steps to help you to do that.  Relationships can’t be rushed.  They need time to grow and mature.    


Is there any cost to participate in the OCIA? 


No, none at all.


What materials do I need to participate? 


You’ll need a pen, a Bible (we recommend “The New Catholic Answer Bible, N.A.B.), and a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  Through the various formation sessions in the OCIA, you will receive materials used as tools for reflection and study.


What if I want my elementary or high school age child baptized? 

Contact Christine Wagberg, Coordinator of Family Life, and make an appointment to share with her your particular family needs.  We are happy to work with you and your family to enjoy the fullness of God’s grace!


Christine Wagberg

248.547.1818 ext. 209

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