Becoming Catholic

The Church is communio; she is God’s communing with men in Christ and hence the communing of men with one another.
~ Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger ~

Becoming Catholic is one of life’s most profound and joyous experiences. Some are blessed enough to receive this great gift while they are infants, and, over time, they recognize the enormous grace that has been bestowed on them. Others enter the Catholic fold when they are older children or adults. This tract examines the joyful process by which one becomes a Catholic.

A person is brought into full communion with the Catholic Church through reception of the three sacraments of Christian initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and the Holy Communion—but the process by which one becomes a Catholic can take different forms.

A person who is baptized in the Catholic Church becomes a Catholic at that moment. One’s initiation is deepened by Confirmation and the Eucharist, but one becomes a Catholic at baptism. This is true for children who are baptized Catholic (and receive the other two sacraments later) and for adults who are baptized, confirmed, and receive the Eucharist at the same time.

Those who have been validly baptized outside the Church become Catholics by making a profession of the Catholic faith and being formally received into the Church. This is normally followed immediately by confirmation and the Eucharist.

Before a person is ready to be received into the Church, whether by Baptism or by profession of faith, preparation is necessary. The amount and form of this preparation depends on the individual’s circumstance. The most basic division in the kind of preparation needed is between those who are unbaptized and those who have already become Christian through baptism in another church.

For children who have reached the age of reason (age seven), entrance into the Church is governed by the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) or Rite of Christian Initiation for Teens (RCIT).

“I did not fully grasp the importance of the selection of an RCIA class until the day of my conversion. Coming from an academic world, I was drawn to the RCIA class at Lourdes because of its reputation for intellectual rigor cultivated by Father Brian’s nuanced understanding of Church teaching, and, in this sense, it did not disappoint. But standing alongside my fellow catechumens after we received our first communion, I felt an emotional intimacy that is rare in life, let alone from a class. While I didn’t realize it in the midst of our weekly routine in the months leading up to our conversion, this intimacy was quietly growing through shared moments of joy in experiencing spiritual truth, laughter at Father Brian’s jokes, fulfillment through intellectual growth, tears during first confession, and peace in experiencing God’s love. On the day of conversion, it felt as though all of our worldly pretensions were shed, leaving just us with one another and God. Whether you are a cradle Catholic striving for deeper faith, a newcomer pursuing conversion, or an atheist seeking truth, RCIA at Lourdes offers something truly special that I would recommend to anyone. There is also beer.”  —Jeanette Goldwaser, MD

RCIA

RCIA is a process of prayer, reflection, and learning that allows for the continual discernment of God’s will in our lives. No matter where you are on your faith journey, there is a place for you at Our Lady of Lourdes! The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process for adults.

Many people inquire about becoming Catholic for many different reasons. Phase one of the journey starts in the heart of the seeker and continues in a small inquiry group where questions are raised and discussed freely. We call it a process because, like any faith journey, each one’s pace is unique. The general process that the Catholic Church uses to initiate adults is based on the same process that the early Christians used during early centuries of Christianity. Full initiation takes place with the reception of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion.

Even if you’re not ready to become Catholic, but want answers, RCIA is a great place to get them. If you have more questions or want to sign up, submit your information on the RCIA inquiry form on the tab above.

When?

This is offered on Wednesday nights from 6:30–8:00PM through May.  You will be given a class schedule when you attend your first class! Please arrive 5 minutes early every class to encourage a prompt start at 6:30 PM.

Where?

Our Lady of Lourdes McCaddon Hall (basement of the church), 2200 S. Logan St. Denver, CO 80210, at the corner of Iliff Ave. and Logan St.

Who is invited?

All adults (18 and older) are welcome—those seeking to become Catholic, those seeking the sacrament of Confirmation, those exploring the Catholic faith, non-practicing Catholics, practicing Catholics, etc. RCIA is a great place to learn about the faith for the first time or be renewed in your faith. You do not need to be sure about joining the Catholic Church to attend class. We can cross that bridge together when it comes, but in the meantime, come check it out!

What should I bring?

There is no need to bring anything! We will provide a notebook and pen for you.

Food? Light snacks will be provided at every class. If you ever feel compelled to bring a snack to share, please do.  Also, please feel free to bring your individual dinner/snack to eat during class as well.

Tests? Homework? Cost? No, no, and no!

What are the attendance expectations?

If you are seriously considering or have already made the decision to become Catholic, or are seeking the sacrament of Confirmation, we expect nearly 100% attendance of weekly RCIA classes, as well as a sincere effort to attend weekly 11 AM Sunday Mass at Lourdes, where the RCIA class sits together in the front, right-hand side of the church (starting in December). We will go more in depth with this topic at the first class.

Who teaches RCIA?

Classes are taught by Our Lady of Lourdes pastor, Fr. Brian Larkin, who is an incredible, down-to-earth, funny and authentic man. He has a dynamic style of teaching that really draws people in, and truly fosters a passion for the faith.

Will childcare be provided?

Yes, childcare will be provided by paid staff for every class, and is for children who are potty-trained through kindergarten. Please drop child(ren) off by 6:25 PM. Please R.S.V.P. for childcare services prior to our class start date.

Religious Ed / RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children)

Children (3rd through 8th grade) who wish to enter the church, or are in need of additional sacraments, are invited to attend Lourdes’ Family Faith Formation program (which will count for catechism needed to participate in sacraments for Easter/confirmation).  For more information regarding this program, please visit https://lourdesdenver.org/family-faith-formation/ and contact  anya@lourdesdenver.org. Parents who have children outside of 3rd–8th grades are encouraged to contact Anya Semenoff-Petty, Ministry & Stewardship Coordinator, for alternative resources (as Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Parish does not currently offer RCIC-specific classes for older children at this time).

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Morality II

Quotes

People should not think so much about what they ought to do; they should think about what they ought to be. ~Meister Eckhart, (Pieper, The Christian Idea of Man, 4)

Virtue does not mean “nice” and “orderly” behavior inrelation to isolated instances of doing or leaving undone. Instead, virtue means that the person is right – in both the supernatural and natural sense. ~Joseph Pieper, The Christian Idea of Man, 10

Virtue is, as Thomas says, ultimum potentiae; it is the ultimate of what a human person can be; it is the fulfillment of man’s ability to be – in the natural and in the supernatural sphere. The virtuous person is in such a way that, from the innermost tendency of his being, he realizes the good through his actions. ~Joseph Pieper, The Christian Idea of Man, 11

Certain currents of modern thought have gone so far as to exalt freedom to such an extent that it becomes an absolute, which would then be the source of values…the individual conscience is accorded the status of a supreme tribunal of moral judgment which hands down categorical and infallible decisions about good and evil…but in this way the inescapable claims of truth disappear, yielding their place toa criterion of sincerity, authenticity and “being at peace with oneself”. ~John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor §32~

The natural law is nothing other than the light of understanding infused in us by God, whereby we understand what must be done and what must be avoided . God gave this light and this law to man at creation. ~St. Thomas Aquinas (Veritatis Splendor, §40)

Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,” knowing and determining good and evil…~CCC 1850~

For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: “mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent.” ~CCC1857~

Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God’s law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin. ~CCC 1859~

Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is by no means something purely biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of love by which a man and a woman commit themselves totally to one another until death. (FC, #11)

When couples, by means of recourse to contraception, separate these two meanings that God the Creator has inscribed in the being of man and woman and in the dynamism of their sexual communion, they act as “arbiters” of the divine plan and they “manipulate” and degrade human sexuality – and with it themselves and their married partner by altering its value of “total” self-giving. Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other.   This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. – Pope John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, §32

In the context of a culture which seriously distorts or entirely misinterprets the true meaning of human sexuality, because it separates it from its essential reference to the person, the Church more urgently feels how irreplaceable is her mission of presenting sexuality as a value and task of the whole person, created male and female in the image of God. (FC, #32)

Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others. (CCC, #2332)

LEARN MORE

From time to time it’s important to remind ourselves of the basic questions at the heart of our faith. Whether you’re a longtime Catholic or someone looking to learn more about the Catholic faith, we think you will find the quick videos below informative and inspiring.

Who is Jesus?

What is the Catholic Church?

Questions About RCIA?