Are you or someone you know interested in becoming Catholic?
The O.C.I.A., or the Order of Christian Initiation for Adults, is the process by which a person enters the Catholic faith. Many individuals are soul-searching and asking questions regarding Christianity and in particular how one can become part of the Catholic Church. Also, many people who have been away from the Church, or who have not completed their sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist) wonder how to return and become active participants.
For more information, please contact Lynn via email or complete this form with your inquiry.
St. Anastasia Catholic Church
4571 John R Road
Troy, Michigan 48085
248-689-8380, Ext. 117
Who is the O.C.I.A. for?
- It is for those who have never been baptized and are seeking information on becoming a Catholic Christian.
- It is for those who are baptized and have joined us from another Christian denomination but have little knowledge and experience of what it means to be a Catholic Christian. The Catholic Church respects your Christian upbringing and the faith experiences that are part of your life. Becoming Catholic does not mean rejecting your previous faith background. You can now live it out in the Catholic Church.
- It is for adult Catholics who would like to complete the sacraments of initiation: (Eucharist and Confirmation)
- It is for anyone considering Catholicism as a way of life who wishes to explore the tenets of the faith to inform their decision.
What are some aspects of the process?
- Study: OCIA sessions are held weekly (Sept – Apr).
- Worship: The expectation is that the candidate attends Sunday Mass.
- Prayer: Through participation in Sunday Mass, retreats, personal devotions.
- Social: The community is an important aspect of Christian life. Participation in various parish events is encouraged.
- Service: Outreach to others is essential to the Christian way of life. Sponsors introduce their candidates to the opportunities available and help make the connections.
I’m not much of a student. Is this a “class”?
We meet in a classroom but it shouldn’t be considered a “class”. We want you to discover God on a personal level. There are no tests, no grades. It is a time for you to grow in the awareness of your relationship with God and with the Catholic Church.
What if I get started and decide this isn’t for me?
Faith in God and the decision to become a member of the Catholic Church are personal choices that must be made in an atmosphere of complete freedom. We try our best to help you understand what it means to be a Catholic Christian. But, if at any time you no longer want to continue, we respect your decision and you are free to depart. We will continue to pray for you!
What is a Sponsor?
A sponsor is a confirmed, active member of the Catholic Church who is willing to be a friend and guide, and to participate in the OCIA with you. If you don’t know of anyone to ask, we will be happy to introduce you to someone.
What do sponsors do?
Sponsors actively participate in our meetings and celebration of the Sacraments. They converse regularly with the participant in an ongoing process of faith development. Their promise is to be good listeners and to help participants to know where God is leading them. A sponsor prays daily for the participant and asks God to bless, direct and guide them.
Can my spouse or fiancé be my sponsor?
A spouse may participate in the OCIA with you or may choose to be a sponsor to another candidate; however we suggest that an unrelated person or another member of the Catholic community be your sponsor. This provides an opportunity to broaden your perspective. You do not need to find your own sponsor. We have members from our parish that have volunteered to join you in this effort.
Is there a cost for participating in OCIA?
No. We supply you with everything that you need.
May I bring a friend?
Yes, we encourage it! As a matter of fact, spouses, fiancés, and sponsors are especially encouraged to join us on a regular basis.
Am I obligated to become Catholic?
There is no obligation on participants to become members of the Catholic Church. Anyone seeking information about the Catholic faith is welcome to attend our sessions. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and dialog with the material. There are times during the OCIA process for you to explore your intentions and continue to discern God’s call. Everything shared during the sessions will be treated with confidentiality and respect. The OCIA is a time of exploration, where people can ask questions and learn about the Church. People coming from other faith groups may have many questions about Catholicism, and areas where they don’t feel comfortable. Don’t worry. Each person is given the space to question, to think for themselves, and to take all the time they need to make a decision about joining the Church.
How does a person become Catholic?
The process is composed of five stages:
- The Pre-catechumenate, or inquiry period, consists of informal meetings to explain the process and answer questions about the Roman Catholic Church. This is a time for inquirers to decide whether they wish to continue with the process.
- At the beginning of the catechumenate or instruction period (First Sunday in Advent), inquirers are formally welcomed by the Parish community and enter a period of more structured preparation listening to presentations and joining in discussions based on scripture readings and other topics of importance such as the Sacraments, the meaning of the Mass, and Catholic morality and social teaching.
- For the Rites of Sending and Election (First Sunday in Lent), the Parish sends the candidates to the Archbishop who, on the part of the entire Catholic Church, accepts the catechumens as the “elect” and blesses the candidates who will be received into the Church at Easter. At this time the Church enters the Lenten period in preparation for the celebration of Christ’s passion, death, and Resurrection. For the candidates, this is a period of spiritual purification and enlightenment.
- At the Church’s greatest feast, the Vigil of Easter, the “elect” will be baptized and all of the elect and candidates will be confirmed and receive the Eucharist at the Parish community’s greatest liturgical celebration.
- Mystagogy, the fifty-day period between Easter and Pentecost, the new members of the Church community, called “neophytes”, begin a time of reflection and begin to live out their sacramental call to service in the life of the Church.
Are there things I can do to prepare before OCIA starts?
OCIA sessions begin in September. Please consider this an invitation to participate in any of the events of the parish before and during OCIA:
- Attend Mass
- Visit our Chapel
- Read the weekly bulletin (available online and at Mass)
- Attend any events that interest you