Discover the Catholic Church

O.C.I.A

Order of Christian Initiation for Adults

Classes will begin September 13, 2022.
Tuesday Evenings from 6:00pm-7:30pm
In Camerman Hall (the church basement)

Classes Begin September

Questions about becoming Catholic or returning to the Catholic Church?

OCIA Classes will begin September 13, 2022
Tuesday Evenings from 6:00pm-7:30pm
In Camerman Hall (the church basement)

Contact Gabby Herndon:
RCIA@starofthesea.net

Order of Christian Initiation… Showing the Way

Sharing our Christian faith is important. Others worked in the harvest so we were able to reap the benefits of the sacraments and spiritual guidance of the Catholic Church. Likewise, we willingly try to bring this precious gift to the next generation, our faith community, and to others. One of the ways we reach out to others (non-Catholics) is through OCIA.

 

What is it?

You may have seen announcements about OCIA in the parish bulletin, but what is it at Our Lady Star of the Sea, and who is involved? OCIA stands for Order of Christian Initiation for Adults.

 

OCIA is the process by which non-Catholic adults (technically anyone over the age of seven) are received into the Catholic Church. OCIA is available in two ways; the first is geared for those people who have not received any Christian baptism of any kind, and the second is for those who have been baptized in a Christian denomination using the proper (Trinitarian) formula.

 

Why is baptism a distinction?

A valid baptism can only occur once in a lifetime. Once original sin is removed and a person is claimed for Christ (even as an infant), it is an action that cannot be repeated. So, those who have already been validly baptized in another Christian tradition have already received the sacrament and need only profess their acceptance of the Catholic faith as the Church established by Christ.

 

How long is the process?

There are a few acceptable variations to the process. Here, at Our Lady Star of the Sea, we use a nine-month model. It begins in September with our 11-week Alpha course, which is open to the whole parish and local community. This is an opportunity for all people (no matter what faith background you come from) to share a meal, learn about the Christian faith, and discuss openly on personal views and beliefs.

 

After Alpha, those seeking to learn more and dive even deeper into the Catholic faith continue meeting weekly (except for a few holidays) from December through May. There are four phases; the last three are each marked by a Liturgical Rite. Then, Baptism (or profession) occurs at the Easter Vigil Mass during Holy Week.

 

The goal of our OCIA process is to simply provide opportunities to experience and encounter the love of God through prayer, teaching, and community. We believe Jesus is a person that wants to be in relationship with you.

 

What is Alpha?

Alpha is a place to connect with other people who are open to exploring life, faith, and meaning. Each session includes a time to connect with others, enjoy a free meal together, hear a short talk on an element of the Christian faith, and then a chance for each person to share their own questions with the group. We’d love to hear your perspective!

Conclusion

The OCIA process is basically a guide to conversion of heart led by the Holy Spirit. A team of instructors help lead the Catechumens (candidates) through the process explaining the Church from its Jewish roots through the life of Jesus, to His Sacraments and the modern Church, and how the Church administers the Seven Sacraments.

 

Over the years, the Catholic Church has determined that the age of reason is seven years. After that time all those received into the Church receive all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist). We do have a separate education component for the youth but the process is the same.

Rita Burns Senseman, writing in The Catholic Update, tells us that conversion to Jesus Christ is a lifelong and ongoing process. “Thus, when we witness others changing their lives, giving up old ways of doing and being and committing themselves to Jesus Christ, it makes us want to recommit ourselves as well. And when the members of the parish recommit themselves to Christ, the parish is indeed renewed.” She goes on to say that every parishioner has a role to play in this process, either as mentors, as sponsors, coordinators and/or assistants, as well as members of the Sunday assembly as they remember the Catechumens in prayer and welcome them at services in the parish.

 

We welcome your involvement in OCIA this year. It can be a very rewarding experience.

To Register, please click on the button below:

For more information, please contact Gabby Herndon, Director of Evangelization at (360) 479-3777  by telephone or RCIA@starofthesea.net by e-mail.