Becoming Catholic or Making a Sacrament as an Adult

OCIA – Order of Christian Initiation of Adults

Have you ever thought about becoming Catholic? Do you want to find out more regarding the Catholic Church and its beliefs? Then OCIA is the perfect place for you to learn more about responding to God’s call and finding answers to all your questions.

Why is RCIA now being called OCIA?  It might seem like semantics but changing the process of entering the Church from a “rite” to an “order” has practical implications.  The catechumenate is meant to be an ongoing formation process in which the initiated are invited to become involved in the parish, attend Mass and OCIA classes and work with catechists in delving into topics such as creation, salvation, Sacraments, Scripture, and spirituality. The OCIA process still includes rites, such as the Rite of Entrance to the Catechumenate and the Rite of Sending, which both occur at the parish level, and the Rite of Election, which occurs at the cathedral with the bishop. These rites aren’t new to the Church, but by making the entire process an “order,” the candidate or catechumen understands the rites received in church or at the parish are just one part of the ongoing journey of discipleship that will culminate with baptism and confirmation — usually during the Easter Vigil — but will continue throughout their lives. It’s about a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s about coming to knowledge of Jesus Christ and then bringing my life into conformity with his teachings. Yes, we have these beautiful experiences in the liturgy that are integrally part of this. But what is happening is the process of coming into relationship with Our Lord.


The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process by which adults enter into the Catholic Church. This rite dates back to the time of the apostles and the early fathers of the church. The OCIA process was restored after the Second Vatican Council, but did not become widely available in the United States until late in the 1980s.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish extends an invitation primarily to three groups of people to join in its OCIA series:

  • Those who have never been Baptized in any faith
  • People who were Baptized in another Christian faith
  • Baptized Catholics who have never received the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation

If you feel this invitation may be intended for you (or you know of a friend or relative you could pass it along to) please consider responding to this invitation.

Some people ask if attending OCIA is like taking a course or just learning and being taught about things? The answer is absolutely not! Most importantly, OCIA is a period which helps a person figure out what God is saying to him or her at this point in their life. Emphasis is also placed on sharing with others, in a comfortable group setting, his or her faith experience and becoming a part of and feeling welcomed at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. In addition there are also presentations on subjects including the Bible, sacraments, the commandments, personal prayer and Jesus.

The faith community of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church welcomes those who wish to fully join themselves to Christ in the Catholic Church through reception of the sacraments of Baptism (if not previously Baptized), Holy Eucharist and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil.

For more information please call Father Joseph O’Connor or Deacon Bill Dotterer at 315-652-4300 or e-mail us.