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Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

The Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy called for the restoration of the catechumenate, the extended and multi-faceted process leading to Christian initiation common in the early church. Designed to respond to this call for renewal, the modern Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) aims at preparing individuals to receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist.

Combining catechesis with small-group discussion, scriptural reflection and liturgical celebration, this holistic process of faith formation invites individuals to explore their personal spirituality within the context of the Catholic tradition and to strengthen their response to the free-gift of God's love.

Call the parish office at 416-231-6016 or email gabriella@sorrows.ca if you would like to begin your faith journey.

Catechetical Sessions

The RCIA group meets on Wednesday evenings, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the parish hall. These catechetical sessions are attended by candidates and team members, occasional guest speakers and in certain special circumstances, by sponsors. Evenings typically consist of opening/closing prayers, catechesis using video resource, scripture readings and small group discussion/personal reflections.   

Breaking Open the Word

The group also meet on Sundays at the 9:30 a.m. Mass and is dismissed after the homily to do Breaking Open the Word in the meeting room.  They are led by one or two rotating team members in a reflection on that Sunday's Gospel reading. Breaking Open the Word sessions typically end at the same time or slightly after the end of the 9:30 a.m. Mass. Candidates sit in special reserved pews at the front of the church.    

Liturgical Rites

Liturgical Rituals mark the end of one stage in the RCIA process and usher candidates into the following stage.  Rituals take place at the 9:30 a.m. Mass after the homily. The culminating liturgical event is the Easter Vigil.

Volunteer Commitment:

There are three opportunities to serve in the RCIA Ministry.

1.      Team Member 

  • Team members are expected to attend and take turns in facilitating the RCIA catechetical sessions using the DVD series Symbolon:  The Catholic Faith Explained (Part I-Knowing the Faith & Part II Living the Faith).  Sessions take place on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm from September to May.

  • Team members help with leading discussion and doing readings; sponsorship coordination; with interviewing candidates periodically throughout the course of the program and assist with liturgical rituals during special ritual weekends and at the Easter Vigil.

  • Team members assist with setting up the meeting room and hospitality at Wednesday evening sessions.

  • Team members are expected to attend team meetings held once a month. 

2.      Sponsor.  The initiation of adults extends through an extended period (usually 1 to 2 years) and culminates   in the celebration of the sacraments of initiation.  During this time, sponsors offer the candidates good example, faith, and friendship.  Sponsors present the candidates to the community when Rites are celebrated. Sponsors are Christians approved by the community because of their own faith and Christian witness.  They are individuals who know and have assisted the candidates; adults who are able to stand as witnesses to the candidates' moral character, faith and intention; committed Catholics who will help the newly initiated persevere in the grace they have received.  Sponsors are expected to attend Wednesday RCIA meetings and participate in discussions.  

3.      Breaking Open the Word Leaders.  BOW leaders' journey with adults preparing for the sacraments of initiation by joining them for a rereading & period of reflection on the Sunday Gospel of the week.  Candidates & leaders are lovingly dismissed from the assembly at the 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass after the homily to begin their reflection.  The session ends at 10:30 am.  

Please note that all those involved in parish ministries and groups must participate in volunteer screening, and some positions will require police checks.

For more information on volunteer screening visit www.archtoronto.org.       

Contact Gabriella Sklar at gabriella@sorrows.ca for more information about or to join the RCIA Ministry.