Are you interested in learning more about Catholicism?  Do you have friends or acquaintances who are questioning what Catholicism is all about?  Do you have Catholic family members or friends who have fallen away from the Faith?  Invite them to investigate the truth about Catholicism by joining the RCIA group here at St. Matt’s.  Our group meets once a week for the length of the school year, beginning in the fall.  Practicing Catholics are encouraged to join as well – you are guaranteed to learn things about the Church you never knew!  We have room for all ages groups, elementary school through older adult.

If you’re interested in attending, please call the rectory at 259-5539.

In recent years there has been a great increase in the number of adults who are joining the Catholic Church.  RCIA (which stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a program designed to help non-Catholics and non-practicing Catholics learn more about Catholicism through a series of classes, discussions, prayer times and ceremonies.  This program helps people grow in faith and knowledge of God as they consider becoming Catholic.  There is no obligation to join the Catholic Church.

St. Matthew’s RCIA program is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Catholic Faith. If you are not yet sure whether you want to become Catholic, you are still welcome to participate as you make your decision.

People from all sorts of religious backgrounds join the RCIA. Some have been baptized in another Christian religion and some have not. Some have been practicing members of a Christian religion for years and some have had little or no religious instruction or support. Some are already Catholic but are seeking a greater understanding of our Faith.

The RCIA is a mix of praying, learning facts, discussing how these apply to our lives, participating in prayerful ceremonies (called “rites”) and most importantly, using all of these experiences to build and grow in a relationship with God.

RCIA typically meets weekly beginning in the fall, focusing on the Creed, Morality and the Sacraments. Everything is presented according to Christ’s revelation as handed down to us in the written form of Sacred Scripture and the oral form of Sacred Tradition. Both Scripture and Tradition come to us through Christ’s appointed Teacher for all time: the Church. This complete teaching of Scripture, Tradition and the Church is called the Deposit of Faith.

Meetings include a presentation and lots of discussion, questions and answers concerning different aspects of the Deposit of Faith. We use the Bible and the book ‘Love Unveiled – The Catholic Faith Explained’ as our guides through Catholic Church Teaching.

Beginning in November we also meet on Sunday mornings for “Breaking Open the Word”. We attend the 9:00 Mass and are dismissed by Father after the homily (sermon) to “go forth to further break open the Word of God”. We then go to a meeting room to discuss the four Scripture readings of that day while the rest of the congregation prays for us as they continue the Mass.

We continue our Sunday Breaking Open the Word and Tuesday night meetings until Holy Week, the week before Easter. Everyone who is ready becomes Catholic at the Easter Vigil, the Saturday night before Easter. Those who are already baptized in another Christian religion (Candidates) enter the Catholic Church by making a Profession of Faith and receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist. [They celebrate the sacrament of Confession (also called Penance or Reconciliation) before Easter].

Those who have not ever been baptized (“the Elect”) enter the Catholic Church by receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. They celebrate the sacrament of Confession (Reconciliation) about a month or two after Easter.

After Easter we continue to meet on Tuesday nights for about six weeks, until the feast of Pentecost. We continue to learn about our Faith as we grow in the experience of the sacraments.

This entire process is highlighted throughout the year by several ceremonies celebrated during Mass here at St. Matthew’s. We also participate in a ceremony during a prayer service that the Bishop celebrates with us here at the Cathedral. All the people preparing to become Catholic at other parishes in the South Bend – Elkhart area join us for this prayer service, which takes place in late February or early March.

The teaching presented here at St. Matthew’s is authentic and official Catholic Church Teaching, the True Deposit of Faith. It has been handed down to us from Christ in both oral and written form, and, for centuries, has been guarded by the Church.

We do not teach opinion.

Simple. Call the rectory at 289-5539.
No. You will enter the Catholic Church by making a “Profession of Faith”.
Everyone’s situation is different, but you will most likely need to begin the annulment process. If you are remarried you will need to wait until the process is completed in order to become Catholic. Fr. Terry Fisher can help you get started – give him a call. (289-5539)
Generally a person will join the RCIA during the Summer / early Fall of one year and become Catholic at Easter time the next year. Once in a while this time frame changes according to the needs of the person.
That’s your decision and you will not be pressured to become Catholic. Some people learn about Catholicism for a few years before deciding to become Catholic, and some never choose to do so. Regardless of your decision, you will be welcome here at St. Matthew’s.
Completely. For the better. When we give God control over our lives He takes it and brings us joy like we’ve never known!