Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults


Are you searching for God? 

Are you interested in becoming a Catholic?

Do you want to complete what your baptism began, and prepare for Confirmation and Eucharist?

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults may be the answer...

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is an open-ended process to warmly welcome new members and provide spiritual formation according to each person’s needs.

The process includes small and large group meetings, discussion, individual and group prayer, and liturgies and rites celebrated within our faith community.  Participants reflect on Scripture, uncover their faith stories and learn to recognize themselves and God’s action in their lives, while exploring the teachings of the Church and its application to their own lives.

The process is designed for catechumen (those who have never been baptized).  It can also assist candidates (those baptized in another Christian tradition or Catholics who have never received Eucharist and Confirmation) in their preparation for sacraments.

The First Period: Inquiry

This is a time of introduction.  Informal and loosely structured, it is a period during which inquirers ask questions and share their faith journey and concerns.  It can last a few weeks or many months, depending on each person’s needs.  No commitment is required.

Rite of Acceptance or Welcome

When an inquirer is ready to formally commit to the process, they express their desire before the parish community.  The Church accepts their intention and welcomes them into the community.

The Second Period: The Catechumente

During this period of more intense instruction  the participants develop an understanding of Church teaching and the mystery of salvation.  They also participate in liturgy and are dismissed with a catechist after the homily each Sunday to break open the Word, reflecting on the scripture readings.

The Rite of Election or the Call to Continuing Conversion

This liturgical rite is celebrated with the larger community of the Oakland Diocese.  The Bishop  formally acknowledges the readiness of the catechumen and candidates to proceed to the sacraments.

The Third Period: Purification and Enlightenment

This takes place during Lent, a time of retreat for the Elect.  They  reflect on their personal spiritual journey and participate in the final rites preparing them for reception of the sacraments.

Celebrating Sacraments

At the Easter Vigil, the Elect celebrate the three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.  The candidates (those already baptized) are received into Full Communion and/or are confirmed at an appropriate time during the year, when their preparation is complete.

The Fourth Period: Mystagogy

Our new members reflect on what it means to live as a fully initiated Catholic. They gather together for liturgy and explore the meaning of the Paschal mystery in their lives.  The formal period ends with Pentecost, but in truth it lasts the rest of our lives.


Contact Anne Marie at (510) 995-9409 or afourre@sjbalameda.org. Come to an "Inquiry" session offered most Wednesday nights, 7:30 to 9:00.  Currently meeting upstairs in St. Joseph Parish Center at 1119 Lafayette Street; okay to park in adjacent "Staff Only" lot since it's after business hours.   (Call first to confirm location.)

The process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

The process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults aids adults in becoming full members of the Catholic Church.  A variation exists for youth and older children who have not been baptized.  It is not a "class" but a spiritual journey of conversion.

Sponsors are need who are confirmed, practicing Catholics.  They must be friendly, open, able to listen and willing to share their faith stories.  Attendance at special liturgies is required as well as the ability and resolve to connect regularly with their candidate.  (Welcome to attend the weekly sessions.)

Catechists facilitate the weekly sessions on Tuesday nights, providing formation in the teachings of our faith.  Others lead the "breaking open the Word" sessions on Sunday mornings, helping the catechumens understand the significance of the scriptures in their day-to-day lives.  Other team members lead the "Inquiry" sessions on Wednesday nights, for those exploring whether they are being called to Catholicism.

Parishioners are also welcome to share about a specific ministry or topic, or to provide hospitality.

A reception is provided each year after the Easter Vigil to celebrate the newly baptized.  Volunteers are welcome to help organize, decorate, set up, provide refreshments, or clean up. 

To volunteer, contact: Anne Marie Fourré at Email: afourre@sjbalameda.org or Phone: (510) 995-9409

Contact Info.

1109 Chestnut St. Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 522-0181
Parish Office Hours:
           8:30 am to 5pm (closed noon to 1) 
           8:30 am to 12:30pm (volunteer staffing) 
           8:30am to 1:00pm. (volunteer staffing)

Parish Calendar