The Journey of Faith begins with your questions. . . .

What is faith? How does faith grow?
What do Catholics believe, and why is it different from other faith traditions?

What is RCIA, how long does it last and when should I start?

The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the process through which adults first inquire about and then, when they are ready, become members of the Catholic Church by receiving Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil. The process generally takes one year, but will vary depending on the preparation and spiritual needs of each participant.  RCIA runs year-round.  Enter whenever you are ready.  There is no specific start date.

Who attends RCIA?

  • Those who have never been baptized.
  • Those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition.
  • Baptized Catholics with little or no faith formation who have not completed the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.

When does RCIA meet and what do we do?

Normally, we meet at the 9:00 am Sunday Mass and are dismissed after the priest’s homily (sermon) to a classroom downstairs.  Led by another Catholic, the group reflects upon the scripture readings of the Mass and then explores a topic related to the Catholic faith.  Built in to each session is the opportunity for participants to ask questions and discuss the faith in a non-judgmental forum.  The gathering typically lasts 2.5 hours, from 9:00 am – 11:30 am.  In addition, participants will be involved in one monthly activity so they may experience parish life and service to the community.  Alternate arrangements can be made for those who for serious reasons cannot meet at this time.


A sponsor accompanies the catechumen/candidate in his/her spiritual journey. The sponsor is witness to the faith. Being a good listener is the most essential requirement, but a sponsor also commits to attend sessions and rites with the inquirers. Most often, sponsors are blessed with a rejuvenation of their own faith as they offer the gift of time and support to an inquirer.


Catherine Mays
RCIA Director
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Kris Fischer
Director of Evangelization & Adult Education
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(703) 494-4008 ext. 202


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