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The Journey

The Church refers to one's time spent learning and growing closer to God and His Church as a journey.  The journey through this initiation process has four periods.  These periods vary in time, but are to mark one’s maturing faith as he/she continues on this journey. 

The following outline is for someone who starts the process who has not been Baptized.

Period of Inquiry: The first period is the initial interest of becoming Catholic Christians called Inquiry. 

Rite of Acceptance into the Order of CatechumensAssembling publicly for the first time, the candidates who have completed the period of the precatechumenate declare their intention to the Church and the Church in turn, carrying out its apostolic mission, accepts them as persons who intend to become its members.

Period of the Catechumenate The catechumenate is an extended period during which the catechumens are given suitable pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at training them in the Christian life.

Rite of Election: The celebration of the rite of election, which usually coincides with the opening of Lent, also marks the beginning of the period of final, more intense preparation for the sacraments of initiation, during which the elect  will be encouraged to follow Christ with greater generosity.

Period of Purification and Enlightenment:  The third period is a time for more spiritual recollection in preparation for the celebration of the sacraments of initiation. 

Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation This rite includes all three sacraments of initiation - Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.

Period of Mystagogia:  The fourth period is called Mystagogia.  This period takes place after the actual initiation and focuses on the experience before, during, and after one is fully initiated.

The following outline is for someone who has been Baptized.

Period of Inquiry: The first period is the initial interest of becoming Catholic Christians called Inquiry. 

Rite of Welcome the Candidates:

Period of the Catechumenate Candidates receive suitable pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at bringing better understanding  and use of the grace received at their baptism.  

Rite of Baptized Christians into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church: This rite includes a profession of faith and the celebration of the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.