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RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults

It is with great joy that we welcomed our RCIA Catechumen and Candidates into full communion with the Church on Saturday, August 8, 2020. These Sacraments, which would have been celebrated at the Easter Vigil, were postponed to do Covid-19.  

Please visit the Parish Photos page for more pictures from the day. Special thank you to Julie Ashcroft for the photos


Are you thinking of becoming Catholic? Would you like to learn more about the process of becoming Catholic? We, at Immaculate Conception, would like to assist you in your search for answers to the questions that you may have about the Catholic faith.

What made you decide to seek information on becoming a Catholic?

People seek information about becoming Catholic for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you are married to a Catholic...or you have many friends who are are interested in the teachings of the Church. It could be you have a desire to experience the sacraments of the Church. Maybe you want to know Jesus Christ more fully and are seeking God. There are many ways that God calls a person into relationship with Jesus and we are happy to help you along this journey.

The Process

The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is a process through which a person gradually deepens their personal relationship with Jesus Christ and lives out their faith in the Catholic community. The RCIA process emphasizes personal conversion and a commitment to the Catholic way of life.

Are you wondering.... is the RCIA process for me?

Want to talk to someone about RCIA? Call the Parish Office at 518-399-9168 or email

The RCIA process is for three groups of people:

  • Those who are not baptized (known as "catechumens")

  • Those who were baptized in another Christian denomination and want to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church

  • Baptized Catholics who were not instructed in the Catholic faith and who have not completed their initiation through the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.

  • The latter two groups are known as "candidates"

RCIA has four stages of formation


During this period, "inquirers" can receive answers to some of their most pressing questions about the Catholic faith and discern how this faith might connect with their personal story and their desire for a closer relationship with Jesus Christ and the Christian community. There is no time limit to this period. When ready, inquirers are invited to continue the journey through participation in the ritual called the Rite of Acceptance into the order of Catechumenate.


This is the second period of preparation. This stage varies in length according to each person's needs. Catechumens (those preparing for Baptism) and Candidates (those already baptized who are preparing to join the Catholic Church), will spend time being introduced to Catholic beliefs and way of life. The Scriptures and Catholic teachings will guide them, while participation in various forms of worship, prayer and parish activities will help integrate them into the Catholic lifestyle. A sponsor will be chosen to provide individual support, and the parish community will continue to welcome them and pray for them. This stage culminates in the celebration of the Rite of Election where catechumens are officially accepted for the Easter Sacraments and are now called "elect". Baptized candidates may also participate in this rite, but are called to continuing conversion.

Purification and Enlightenment

This period, which coincides with the season of Lent, is a time of final preparation for initiation. Lent is ordinarily that time for all to turn from sin and be enlightened by Christ. During this time, the Elect engage in prayer and reflection about their growing relationship with Christ and the Church. They discern how they will live out that relationship in their everyday lives. The centerpiece of this period of prayerful preparation is the celebration of the Scrutinies. This period climaxes with the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil liturgy on the night before Easter.


Mystagogy means "leading into the mysteries". This final period lasts from Easter Sunday until the completion of the Easter season, which is 50 days later on Pentecost Sunday. It is a time when the newly initiated reflect on that which they have just experienced and begin their lifelong pilgrimage of growth as the mysteries of their faith unfold.

What people have to say about their experiences in RCIA

Michael Hinkle

“My RCIA experience was more than learning about religion. I learned about myself. I came in as one person but left as part of a family. It is something I will never forget" 2016

Richard Miller

"My experience with RCIA was twice as rewarding. What I mean by that was being a "snowbird" I met six great classmates at, now, my home parish of Immaculate Conception -- and five more classmates at St. Maximilian Kobe in Port Charlotte, FL. On top of that, two great groups of religious instructors who I owe a lot for making me feel comfortable and at ease expressing my beliefs during my journey into the Catholic faith and Church community. The Rite of Acceptance - both here and at my Florida parish - and at the Cathedral with the Bishop, only to be capped off with the most moving experience of receiving the Sacraments at the Easter Vigil -- will always be with me throughout my lifetime. So if anyone out there is thinking about attending RCIA process, do it. You won't regret the journey and the outcome will be one of the most rewarding things that can happen to a person in their lifetime" 2016

David Wetzel

“After attending Immaculate Conception for several months, I was truly moved and honored when Father Jerry invited me to learn more about RCIA. The classes we attended helped me to realize that I was still able to learn and grow. I truly enjoyed the fellowship and conversations with members of the RCIA class and our teachers. This is truly a very special group of people, and I believe that we share a lasting bond. Throughout the RCIA process, I was so appreciative of the support from our entire congregation. I am so grateful to be part of this wonderful, spiritual community" 2016

RCIA Ministry Leads

Carol and Paul Heckman

for more information about RCIA please contact the Parish Office 518-399-9168 or via email

What people have to say about their experiences


Brian Nissley

“RCIA was one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences of my life. While many things drew me to RCIA, it was my “classmates”, the instructors and the Church that made it such an amazing experience. Through discussions and interactions, I gained a deeper understanding of the Scriptures and Christianity. The outpouring of support from my classmates, the congregation, and the Church was far more than I ever expected or even hoped for. RCIA has left me with an inner peace that I intend to sustain for the rest of my life" 2016

Jim Vincent

“As a token Presbyterian who now LOVES the Catholic Church, I found our RCIA process to be instrumental in my finding both spiritual peace and spiritual happiness. I have to admit that I believed rumors I had been taught about the Catholic Church. My misgivings were cancelled as the sessions explained the truth and I realized that some of these rumors were highly distorted versions of the truth. I was also surprised by the history of the Catholic Church…its tradition is so rich in history. It is interesting to see how the Church got to be the way it is now" 2016

Cindy Carter

"RCIA was such an amazing and rewarding experience, one I don't think I will ever forget. The people I got to meet and got through his experience with, I will always hold close to my heart. I think this is the best thing I could have done for myself spiritually and emotionally. There was so much learned; and I hope to continue to learn.... but RCIA is really just a beginning, an amazing beginning" 2016

April Nedwell

“RCIA was truly an experience that I will never forget and will cherish forever. I always looked forward to our weekly classes because of the unbelievably kind and caring people that are part of the RCIA process. Not only did I learn a great deal about the Catholic Faith, but I gained a faith family and learned a lot about myself in the process. This program has helped me understand myself better as a person and as a Catholic. Because I want to continue to learn and grow, I have joined the Church book club, which I thoroughly enjoy and I will be attending the parish weekend at Pyramid Lake this summer with my husband. I plan to join other Church groups and participate in many Church functions in the future. I cannot imagine having gone through any other program but the RCIA process at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville. What a warm, welcoming community!" 2016

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