The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process of discerning and ritualizing stages of gradual conversion. Initiation of adults belongs to all the baptized. The process is about a relationship over time with both God and the Catholic community. It is the Church's method of a faith journey of conversion.
The process has no time frame. Conversion occurs on God's time; not our time. The RCIA conversion process consists of four periods. The amount of time spent in each phase is dependent on individual needs and the work of God's spirit.
The Period of Evangelization or Precatechumenate
The Period of The Catechumenate
The Period of Purification and Enlightenment
At the end of each period, a rite is celebrated to signify the continuation of the process until the sacraments of initiation are celebrated. The rites are:
The Rite of Acceptance (into the Order of the Catechumens)
The Rite of Election
Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation