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How do you register for the RCIA online program?

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Quick Answer

The Catholic Church does not support RCIA online programs; however, a candidate who is restricted to the home because of his own or a family member's disability can participate in some distance learning with Church approval. The preferred method of Catholic initiation involves classroom instruction and small group discussion, as well as textbook learning at home. To participate in the RCIA, contact your local Catholic parish, and sign up for a program there.

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Full Answer

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is an educational and spiritual program designed to bring adults into the Catholic Church. It is for adults who are unbaptized, those with a Christian background and the baptized who never received the initiation sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. The process can take several years, with catechumens participating to some degree in the life of the parish before they are fully initiated at the Easter Vigil mass.

During the Precatechumenate stage of RCIA, those contemplating conversion to Catholicism explore Catholic spirituality and discern whether it is the right choice for them. This stage of the process lasts for as long as it takes the candidate to make a decision. Those who choose to move on to the next stage of RCIA receive public support and encouragement from parishioners during the Rites of Welcoming and Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. They participate during the Liturgy of the Word but leave mass before the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

After the candidates are baptized and confirmed at Easter Vigil, they continue learning about the Catholic faith through a process called mystagogy. This stage lasts until the end of the Easter season on the feast of Pentecost. The Church encourages all adults to continue this final stage by deepening their understanding of the Catholic faith throughout their lives.

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