FAQs About Becoming Catholic

What is Inquiry?
Conversion is a gradual process or a faith journey. The first step in the journey of becoming a Catholic is the inquiry stage. Inquiry Sessions are scheduled for the fall. This period may vary in length according to God's timing and the work of the Holy Spirit in you. The aim of this period is to awaken one's faith. It is characterized by:
• Sharing stories about the Catholic faith.
• Answering questions about why Catholics do the things they do.
• Proclaiming the message of salvation through the Word.
• Introduction into parish life.
• Building trust.
Once God's time has been fulfilled and the inquirer is ready to take the first step in the process of conversion, The Rite of Acceptance and Welcome is celebrated.

What is The Rite of Acceptance and Welcome?
The Rite of Acceptance and Welcome is a celebration where baptized and unbaptized inquirers publicly declare to the church their intentions to continue their faith journey. The church welcomes and accepts them as persons who intend to become its members. Here at St. Gabriel, the Rite of Acceptance and Welcome is celebrated the first Sunday of Advent.

If I Begin, Am I Obligated to Become a Catholic?
There is no obligation to make any kind of commitment nor is there pressure exerted on anyone to become a Catholic. We respect the conscience and decision of every inquirer. Because of your attending inquiry sessions here at St. Gabriel we hope you would gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Catholic beliefs and practices.

I Think I'd Like to Begin the Process of Becoming Catholic.
If you have questions or would like to begin the process of Becoming Catholic, please call the Director of Religious Education at the parish office, 225-642- 8441. or email. Confidentiality will be respected.

How Does One Become Catholic?
Most Catholics are born into Catholic families and gradually come to share in the full sacramental life of the Church. Others, who may have been previously baptized in a non-Catholic Christian Church, and those who have never baptized, are initiated through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process that leads to the full initiation into the sacramental life of the Church at the Easter Vigil.

Who May Attend Inquiry Session?
• Persons who have never been baptized.
• Persons who have been baptized in another Christian faith tradition and
are now interested in the Catholic tradition.
• Persons who were baptized din the Catholic tradition but were not raised
as Catholics.
• Anyone who wants to learn more about the Catholic Christian faith.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Catholic?
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is a process of preparation for the lifetime commitment that comes with reception into the Church. Consequently, some people will need more time than others to prepare for this. Each person's journey varies.

What Does RCIA Involve?
The RCIA meets each week from late August to the celebration of the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Participates are requested to participate in Small Faith Sharing Groups. Those who have chosen to seek full membership are celebrated with the parish community at a particular Sunday Mass where they celebrate rites and receive special prayers and blessings. Additionally, there are service opportunities, retreats, and prayer services, which help you become incorporated into the Body of Christ.

What Is A Sponsor? What if I Don't Know Anyone Who Can Be My Sponsor?
A sponsor is a Catholic from St. Gabriel Parish who has volunteered to be your companion during your faith journey. Sponsors commit to pray with and for you, attend RCIA sessions with you and generally help you to become a part of the parish family. If you do not have someone to be your sponsor, we'll provide you with one.

I Am Already Baptized. Will I Need to be Baptized Again?
Generally not. The Catholic Church recognizes the authentic action of the Holy Spirit in other Christian communities and accepts valid Christian baptisms that have been performed.

Are Catholics Christians?
Yes. The term Christian refers to all who recognize Jesus as the Christ (Messiah) and Lord. Catholics are the one group of Christians who can trace their lineage as a Church back to Jesus' Twelve Apostles.

Why Can't I Go To Communion?
Sharing of the Eucharist is a sign of full unity, an expression of shared belief, practice and fellowship in the Catholic Church. We respectfully ask those who do not yet one with us in belief to refrain from receiving the Eucharist. Everyone is invited to come forward at the time of Communion to receive a blessing from the priest or Eucharistic minister. Simply indicate your desire for a blessing by crossing your arms across your chest.

Do I Need To Register Before Attending an Inquiry Session?

No, you do not. All are welcome and there's always room for one more at the session.