The purpose of the San Buenaventura Mission Christian Initiation of Adults is to welcome any adult who wishes to explore deeper the Catholic Christian Faith and to "hand on the Faith" to those adults who seek and are accepted for the Sacraments of Initiation -- Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
"The mysteries of Christ's life are the foundations of what He would henceforth dispense in the sacraments, through the ministers of His Church, for "what was visible in our Savior has passed over into His mysteries." Sacraments are "powers that comes forth" from the Body of Christ, which is ever-living and life-giving. They are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in His Body, the Church. They are "the masterworks of God" in the new and everlasting covenant." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1115-1116)
The Church recognizes this treasure received from Christ and as the "faithful steward of God's mysteries," has established a process of initiating adults into its Faith. The "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults" or RCIA is this process in which each person who has set out on a spiritual journey of a personal relationship with Christ and His Church is given the support and encouragement by the parish community through its priests, catechists, sponsors, and times of communal prayers.
We invite all adults -- the unbaptized, those baptized in other Christian traditions, those baptized Catholics who have not been catechized and received all the sacraments of Initiation and those who merely want to be renewed in their Faith -- to "come and see" (John 1:46) and participate in the RCIA.
The RCIA Process may extend for a period of nine months to a year or longer, depending on the individual's spiritual journey with Christ, a journey which continues throughout life. The RCIA faith community gathers on a weekly basis for one and a half hour sessions.
The RCIA is a time of, not only learning the doctrines of the Church, but also it is a time of conversion, a time of examining and purifying the motives for conversion, a time of initiation into the mystery of salvation and the practice of evangelical virtues, and a time of introduction into the life of faith, liturgy and charity of the People of God. Adults who enter this process are asked to cooperate in the building up of the Church and its work of evangelization by the example of their lives and the profession of their faith. (cf. Vatican Council II, Missionary Activity,13,14)
The RCIA Process consists of people of the parish giving freely of their time and of themselves to serve as catechists (teachers of the faith), sponsors and helpers because of their love for God and His people. Many of our catechists, sponsors and helpers have volunteered hours and hours every year.
Who are these "teachers of the faith?" They are adults who have accepted the call to share God's love with others and the challenge to pass on what they themselves have experienced of our Catholic faith. There is so much to share of God and his love! We heartily INVITE ANY ADULT who would like to join our team of catechists, sponsors and helpers -- please call the Office of Religious Education -- 643-4318. We will utilize your talents and also give you training.