Order of Christian Initiation of Adults—O.C.I.A

How do I become Catholic and what is the OCIA?

OCIA, which stands for Order of Christian Initiation of Adults, is a process through which non-baptized men and women enter into the Catholic Church. It includes several stages marked by study, prayer and rites at Mass.

Participants in OCIA are known as catechumens. They undergo a process of conversion as they study the Gospel, profess their faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Holy Eucharist. The OCIA process follows the ancient practice of the Church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for baptism.

What is meant when people refer to men and women coming into “full communion with the Church?”

Coming into full communion with the Catholic Church describes the process for entrance into the Catholic Church for men and women who are baptized. These individuals make a profession of faith but they are not baptized again.

To prepare for this reception the people, who are called “candidates,” participate in a formation program to help them understand and experience the specific teachings and practices of the Catholic Church.

OCIA meets yearly from September through Easter.