Becoming Catholic

We are excited you are at least curious enough about becoming Catholic to find yourself reading this page! We want you to know, no matter where you are in your faith journey, that you are welcome at St. Joseph. We are deeply committed to helping you recognize God’s voice in your life and follow wherever He is leading you (whether or not it leads you into full communion with the Catholic Church at this time or not).

If you feel that God is inviting you to consider becoming Catholic, we invite you to continue reading below. If you are just starting your journey of faith and would like some help recognizing God’s voice in your life through prayer, please also click here to visit our page on how to experience/hear God in your life.


Becoming Catholic at St. Joseph

At St Joseph, the journey into the Catholic Church happens within a program called “RCIA”. RCIA means the “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults." RCIA at St. Joseph happens in different stages and for different durations depending on your unique circumstance. The very first step in your RCIA journey will begin with a short introduction coffee/meeting with Andrew, our Director of Evangelization.

The next step would be to join our next Alpha course. We run our Alpha courses 3 times a year (Spring, Summer, and Fall). You can find information about our next Alpha course here.

After experiencing our Alpha course, the next step in the journey to becoming Catholic is what we call Intensive Formation. During this time you will be meeting weekly in a small group with mentors from the parish and other individuals who are coming into the Catholic Church. You will receive a broad, sweeping overview of the Catholic Faith and continue to deepen your spiritual life as a group. Once in the fall and once in the spring you will participate in special rites (liturgical ceremonies) in which you will express your intention to continue towards full communion in the Catholic Church. This phase concludes at the Easter Vigil, during which you will be officially welcomed into the Catholic Church.

The final phase of RCIA begins directly after the Easter Vigil and is called Mystagogy. Mystagogy is a Latin word, which translates loosely into “unveiling the mysteries." During this final phase of RCIA, you and your small group will “unpack” the lived experience of being Catholic and receiving the sacraments (which you will be experiencing at this time). The RCIA program proper will be concluded when you and your small group have been equipped with all the knowledge and experience needed to integrate into our parish community as mature Catholics. At this point the parish will continue to support you in your faith journey through other ministries and programs.


Important Things You Should Know

We know that your faith is something important and personal to you. We want you to know that at no point during our RCIA programs are you going to feel pressured or coerced into joining the Catholic Church. Going back to the first thing we mentioned on this page, we are solely focused on helping you hear and follow God’s call in your life. If at any point during the RCIA process you don’t feel God is calling you to continue with your journey towards the Catholic Church, or you feel like you need to spend more time in RCIA before coming into the Church, we want you to know you are free to do that.

The “time frame” for the RCIA process is going to be specific to each individual. We want you to know you can begin your journey towards becoming Catholic at any time of the year and we will have a place for you.

If you have any questions at all (including questions about time frames), would like more specifics on joining the Catholic Church, or are ready to begin your journey to becoming Catholic please contact Andrew McGown in our Office of Evangelization – andrewm@stjoegold.org or 303-279-4464.