Becoming Catholic (OCIA)

Becoming Catholic
Thinking about becoming Catholic or just want to learn about Catholicism?

St. Alphonsus Catholic Church warmly welcomes you as you continue on your Faith Journey!
*More properly referred to as "Order" rather than "Rite," as will be reflected in new liturgical texts coming out soon.

What is OCIA?
It is a process that invites interested persons to consider the Catholic faith. This process is a journey that includes study, exploration, faith sharing and discernment. It is a series of generally weekly gatherings culminating with the celebration of the Easter Vigil.

Who is OCIA for?

  • People who are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith

  • People who have never been baptized

  • People who have been baptized in another Christian faith tradition and are now interested in Catholicism

  • People who were baptized Catholics , but who were not raised Catholic and now wish to complete their sacraments of initiation (Confirmation and possibly first Eucharist)

What is the OCIA process? 
The OCIA process has four distinct stages or phases. It is designed to help individuals build a strong foundation in the basics that will serve them as they continue to build an ever closer relationship with Jesus.

 Phase I Inquiry: Just Looking – This is a period for individuals to explore their own faith and to focus on Jesus and His message so that they are able to make an informed initial decision about entering the Catholic Church.

Phase II Catechumenate: Learning About the Faith – This phase of OCIA focuses on catechesis, learning about the basics of the Catholic faith. The sacraments are discussed as well as the Mass and many other basic beliefs and practices of the Catholicism.

Phase III Purification and Enlightenment: Preparing for Rebirth – This phase coincides with Lent and is an intense period of spiritual preparation before receiving the Easter sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. (Those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition are not baptized again.) During this phase, those to be baptized are called the Elect. Those already baptized are known as Candidates. Both are called to deeper reflection and conversion in preparation for their Easter renewal and rebirth.

Phase IV Mystagogy: Reflecting on the Mysteries – This is the beginning of the lifelong process of transformation, of building an ever closer relationship with Jesus. It is particularly a time for reflecting on the Easter experience, on the sacraments received, and especially on the Eucharist, the “source and summit’ of Christian life in the Catholic Church.

What else should I know?

  • The entire community of St. Alphonsus will support those in the OCIA on their journey of faith through prayers and by example.

  • Each person in the process will have a sponsor who will walk with them along the way. Sponsors minister to participants by sharing their own faith, their hopes for the participant and the love they have for Christ as they deal with everyday life.

  • Each phase of the OCIA is marked by beautiful rites/rituals at key points in the journey towards conversion and true discipleship in Christ.

    OCIA-Inquirer Form

    For more information contact Mary Synstelien at synstelien@comcast.net or call the parish at 763-561-5100.

    Para información en español, contacte a Luz Zagal: latinoministry@mystals.org or (763) 503-3326.