Many people go through the RCIA process each year. Here are two who have shared their journey with you.
My journey of faith, like many, has its own roadmap with ups and downs. I didn’t grow up in a religious environment. My Mom and Dad were both very warm and loving, but we didn’t go to church or outwardly discuss God or Jesus Christ. I did however, always believe in God, but did not pursue him as it was just something I had no experience or understanding in.
As time went by and as I got older, I started seeing some of the miracles that God was blessing me with. This was a transitional period for me and was not a sudden enlightenment. However, as I saw more and more of God in my life, it got harder and harder to deny something was stirring inside me. At this point, I started reading the Bible, praying to God and attending Church.
My experience with a couple of Churches was very disappointing and left me wondering where my journey would lead. We moved to Westerville in 2015 and started attending St. Paul’s. During this period, I had been praying to God to “teach me his ways and to help me understand”, until one day at Mass, the class of RCIA candidates were called to the alter for a blessing by the priest and were dismissed for reflection. I was curious what this “RCIA” was and did some research and found out it was a way for adults to learn more about God and the Catholic Church. I must say, my prayers were clearly answered, as this was a great opportunity to learn and get closer to God.
My decision to join the program was one of the best I have ever made. I celebrated my Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion during the 2017 Easter Vigil. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of RCIA and learned a great deal, not only about the Church and God, but about myself. While some may be intimidated by the 8 months it takes to go through the program, it goes by so quickly that many of us were sad to see it end. The friendships that were formed will last for many years and what you learn about your faith will last forever. The program all led up to Holy Week, which is the week before Easter. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday night was amazing and the Easter Vigil on Saturday was beautiful and joyous. As I was sitting in the pew during the Easter Vigil, I heard a voice that said “You Were Supposed To Do This”. The reason this struck me so was I wasn’t questioning my decision to join the program, and was deep in thought. Usually when we debate something internally, we say things like “I should or shouldn’t do something. This was clearly a confirmation from God that this was a part of his plan for me.
If this program is something that may be of interest to you, I encourage you to pursue it. It is very well organized and led. You will feel very welcome by the Church, program staff and your fellow participants. A member of the Church will be your “sponsor” and will help you throughout, so you will not be in this alone. I think I had the best sponsor ever and his help really made the process easy. Would I do it again? Absolutely.
Rex Blevin, RCIA Class 2016
The RCIA process at St. Paul was so much more then I could have ever imagined. I’ve been wanting to go through this process for many years. My calling came in 2016, at the age of 38. I finally took the time and courage to look further into deepening my faith. Yes, making a 9-month commitment can be intimidating, but this was one of the most spiritual fulfilling experience I have ever encountered. I’ve lived all my life knowing Gods presence and this process has allowed me to heal and live my life with a higher purpose. I’m so thankful for all the support within St. Paul’s Church. I feel so blessed in my life right now. Words can’t express the way I feel after completing the RCIA process other than you feel something different in your heart and soul. This was the biggest thing that was missing in my life. If you are thinking about the RCIA process, it’s your time now. You can’t lose anything, the gain you’ll receive is a lifetime of God’s love.
I became an RCIA sponsor after completing the RCIA myself in 2015. I decided to volunteer for RCIA because I received so much from the RCIA process and my sponsor during my journey and wanted to help someone receive the same experience. Volunteering to be a sponsor has enriched my faith journey in more ways than expected. Watching my candidate gain knowledge of the Catholic Church as well as grow in his faith was truly inspiring. Being there to answer questions about Catholicism helped me engage my faith at a deeper level and become more passionate about being Catholic. Though I had completed the RCIA only two years previous, I learned something new in every class or a new way to look at my faith.
The prospect of volunteering initially seemed intimidating, however the RCIA team did an extraordinary job of pairing sponsors and candidates and making the process very welcoming. The entire team was extremely welcoming and supportive. If there was a question I was unable to answer, the RCIA team was eager to help me find the answer. RCIA has been extremely fulfilling and a great way to get involved in the St. Paul church community.
RCIA 2017 Class