The Parthenon

RCIA offers insight, initiation into Catholic faith

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The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) offers students on Marshall University’s campus the chance to learn about Catholicism.

RCIA takes place each Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Catholic Newman Center.

Campus minister Traci Ferguson said RCIA is for discussing the history of the Catholic faith.

“In a nutshell, we will be discussing the history of the Church,” Ferguson said. “The beliefs, gifts and values of the church and the proper order and celebration of the mass.”

RCIA is a process for joining the Catholic Church that includes four steps: inquiry, catechumenate, purification and enlightenment and mystagogy.

According to Ferguson, inquiry includes sharing the basic values of Catholicism. Catechumenate is a time of faith formation that includes a deeper understanding of the religion. Purification and enlightenment entails prayerful and spiritual preparation for receiving the Easter Sacraments and joining the Catholic Church. Mystagogy is a period when new Catholics discover what it means to fully participate in church activities.

Junior international business major Sydney Rollins said RCIA has given her the chance to transition into the Catholic faith without feeling alone.

“Getting to know the Catholic religion as a whole, as well as going through this with other people has made it less intimidating because there are other people who are going through it with me as well,” Rollins said. “Traci always refers to it as a giant faith-sharing experience and I think that’s what I’ve liked most.”

Rollins said hearing other people’s stories and experiences will make her miss RCIA once she is finished going through the class.

“I get that interaction and different experiences from other people,” Rollins said. “I’m going to be sad when it’s over.”

Ferguson said RCIA is not just for people who are converting to Catholicism.

“Anyone could come to RCIA,” Ferguson said. “It’s primarily for those converting to Catholicism, but it is a good experience for anyone who may want to learn more about the Catholic faith.”

Students who have went through RCIA this semester will be accepted into the Catholic Church during the Easter vigil.

Nancy Peyton can be contacted at [email protected]

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