Are you interested in becoming Catholic? We’re happy you’re here! Submit an Inquiry
Becoming Catholic is for adults who are considering becoming full members of the Catholic Church.
This includes people who are seeking the sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation, but also those who come from another faith tradition.
For questions, please contact Dave Brunsman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 513-777-4322 Ext. 137
Becoming Catholic (OCIA / RCIA) is the process through which non-Catholics become Catholic.
The process, focused on the virtues and how to lead a virtuous life, includes learning about the beliefs of the Church community through four types of formation:
1. Doctrinal Formation:
Studying the beliefs of the Catholic (Universal) Church
2. Liturgical Formation:
Praying and worshiping with the Church community
3. Practical Formation:
Participating in the life of the Church/parish community
4. Apostolic Formation:
Serving the Church/parish community
The number one question we are asked is: “How long will this take”?
Becoming Catholic is different for everyone and depends on your faith background, experiences, and scheduling availability.
For most, though, the process lasts for about one to two years.
For those who have not been baptized, the process leads to the Easter Vigil, where they’ll receive the “Sacramental Grand-Slam” of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist.
Those who have previously been baptized in a Christian tradition are invited into full communion in the Church through reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.
Many who have previously been baptized CHOOSE to be received into the Church at the Easter Vigil, but this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
Inquiry for Becoming Catholic meets during the following times:
Tuesday Evening – 7pm – Room 2/3
Thursday Evening – 7pm – Room 16
Feel free to tell us you’re coming, or simply stop in!
NOTE: Please know that the rooms are subject to change. It is highly recommended, though, that you check to be sure that we’re meeting during any given week. As a general rule, Inquiry is offered all year long, but there are a few weeks during the year when we do not meet (for holidays, for instance).
Sunday Sessions for Becoming Catholic
9:30am – Dismissal from mass
10:00am – 10:15am – Break
10:15am – 12:00pm – Discussion on topic for the day
Out of respect for your time and for that of the Becoming catholic team, while we do our very best to end our sessions at 12:00pm, sometimes, we may go past this intended time. We ALWAYS have a hard-out at 12:30pm, even if we’re in the middle of an intense discussion.
At St. Maximilian Kolbe Church, the Becoming Catholic (OCIA / RCIA) process is available all year and generally progresses in four phases: Inquiry, Catechumenate, Enlightenment, Mystagogy.
The process is fulfilled within the parish community.
For an explanation on the terms being used in this section, please click on the “What Do Those Terms Mean?” drop-down menu.
During the Inquiry (Pre-Catechumenate) phase of the Becoming Catholic process, the opportunity is provided so that those seeking (inquiring) the faith can ask whatever questions they may have about the process, Catholic teachings and practices, or anything else pertaining to the faith.
A curriculum is followed, which discusses the basics. Some examples are:
1. What is Faith?
2. What is Church Doctrine?
3. What is a Devotion?
4. Who was Jesus?
5. What does it mean to live like Jesus?
6. What is the Trinity?
7. What’s going on during mass?
Questions (almost) always take precedence over planned curriculum. The Inquiry phase is largely about planting the seeds of faith, developing a basic understanding of Catholic Christian beliefs, and/or dealing with major objections/roadblocks people have encountered regarding the Catholic faith.
Inquiry can last as long as is needed, but normally lasts around six-months to a year.
During the Catechumenate phase of the Becoming Catholic process, a more formalized education occurs.
1. Doctrinal Formation: Studying the beliefs of the Catholic (Universal) Church
2. Liturgical Formation: Praying and worshiping with the Church community
3. Practical Formation: Participating in the life of the Church/parish community
4. Apostolic Formation: Serving the Church/parish community
Even though the process is more formalized, with a deeper focus on particular teachings, questions are always welcomed and encouraged. At St. Max, we believe that learning is best done through discussion – not lectures!
Some examples of lessons during this phase are:
1. What is a Sacrament?
2. The Sacrament of Baptism (We will devote at least one session to EACH sacrament)
3. The Marian Dogmas
4. Mortal Sin vs. Venial Sin
5. Christian Prayer
6. The Beatitudes
7. Tough Topics
Catechumenate/Candidacy generally lasts about six months.
Purification and Enlightenment
Purification and Enlightenment is a continuation of the formation began during Catechumenate/Candidacy.
As a general rule, this phase begins on the first Sunday of Lent and continues through the Easter Vigil (about 7 weeks).
This is a more intense phase of the process where those seeking to become Catholic participate in several Rites during mass and also attend an off-site overnight Retreat.
All of the lessons during this phase are directly related to final preparations for the reception of the Sacraments.
The period of Mystagogy is the time immediately following reception of the Sacraments and answers this question: Great! I’m Catholic. Now what?
After becoming Catholic, you will be asked a lot of questions about your decision. Mystagogy is designed to give you the tools to respond to these questions, but also, to equip you for living the Catholic Christian life in community – whether that be the parish community or the civic/social community.
Some of the lessons during Mystagogy are:
1. Basics of Apologetics
2. How to use the Socratic Method
3. What does it look like to be Catholic in the world?
The Mystagogy phase generally lasts until the Feast of Corpus Christi, which occurs in mid-June.
The Becoming Catholic (OCIA / RCIA) process not only includes formation (education), but also, the celebration of Liturgical Rites. These Rites are critical for the continued formation of the person seeking to become Catholic and are celebrated within the context of mass.
Here is a brief description of the major Rites of the Becoming Catholic process:
The Rite of Acceptance
The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens is the time when inquirers who have completed the period of the Pre-Catechumenate assemble in public for the first
time within the parish community.
During this Rite, the Church formally accepts these persons who intend to become its members.
From this point forward, an unbaptized person is referred to as a Catechumen and a baptized person is referred to as a Candidate.
The Rite of Election
The Rite of Election marks the official closure of the timeperiod of the Catechumenate. The celebration of this Rite usually coincides with the opening of Lent and also marks
the period of final, more intense preparation for the sacraments of initiation.
This Rite is specifically for Catechumens (unbaptized).
After the celebration of this Rite, the Catechumens are now referred to as the “Elect.”
The Call to Continuing Conversion (listed below) is often celebrated in conjunction with the Rite of Election.
This is an ALL DAY event which includes a trip to St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Downtown Cincinnati and a celebratory dinner afterwards.
The Call to Continuing Conversion
The Call to Continuing Conversion is similar to the Rite of Election and is often celebrated at the same time as the Rite of Election during the first Sunday of Lent.
This Rite is exclusively for Candidates (baptized) who are nearing the date of their Confirmation (and sometimes, First Holy Communion).
In conjuction with the Rite of Election, this is an ALL DAY event which includes a trip to St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Downtown Cincinnati and a celebratory dinner afterwards.
The Pentitential Rite
The Penitential Rite occurs during the 2nd Sunday of Lent and is similar to a Scrutiny, but is exclusively for Candidates (baptized who have celebrated the Call to Continuing Conversion).
The Three Scrutinies
The Scrutinies are three rites for self-searching and repentance. They occur during the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent and are exclusively for the Elect (unbaptized who have celebrated the Rite of Election).
Dismissal occurs at every mass after the Rite of Acceptance has been celebrated.
During mass, after the homily, the Catechumens are called forward. From there, they will exit the Worship Space in order to take a deeper dive into the Biblical readings/lessons
they’ve just heard.
One of the major focuses of Dismissal is to train Catechumens on how to read the Bible like a Catholic, but also, how to apply the lessons of the Bible in a relevant way
in our lives today in the community.
That’s a great question!
Here is a short guide to help you to navigate:
Becoming Catholic – At St. Max, we refer to OCIA / RCIA as “Becoming Catholic” because the acronyms OCIA and RCIA can be a bit confusing for some
Catechumen – An unbaptized person in the OCIA Process
Candidate – A baptized person in the OCIA Process
Doctrine – A teaching of the Catholic Church
Elect – An unbaptized person in the OCIA Process who has celebrated the Rite of Election
Liturgy – Public worship which is our participation in Christ’s work. The mass, for instance, is a liturgy
Mass – Mass is the central act of worship for Catholics. The word, “mass” comes from the Latin word “missa,” which means “sent.”
Mystagogy – Comes from a Greek word which means, “to lead through the mysteries.” Basically, it means “unpacking the mysteries.”
OCIA – The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults. This is NEW name of the RCIA process because Becoming Catholic consists of a combination of Rites, which need “order” to complete.
RCIA – The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. This is a recently outdated name for the process of Becoming Catholic.
Rite – A sacred ritual or liturgical celebration.
If there are any other terms which you need help with, please feel free to reach out –or come to an Inquiry
session and ask in person!
The Becoming Catholic (OCIA / RCIA) process is supported by a team of Saint Maximilian Kolbe Church parishioners who provide hospitality, catechesis, formation, and a yearly retreat.
Sponsors are also critical to the growth of those entering into the Church.
Since Becoming Catholic (OCIA / RCIA) is a year-round process, we have needs for both team and sponsors throughout the year.
Our volunteers regularly tell us that they receive more than they give.
Accompanying these adults as they progress from questioning to learning to experiencing the joy that comes from the sacramental union with Christ and His Church is a faith-renewing process for both Team Members and Sponsors, as well as for the whole parish community.
If you’d like to volunteer to be a part of the Becoming Catholic (OCIA / RCIA) process, please contact Dave Brunsman at:
Phone: 513-777-4322 x 137
Thank you for the consideration!
Jesus asks us all to be His witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
We can answer this call a lot closer to home by serving as a Sponsor for someone who is interested in Becoming Catholic.
Since many of our Catechumens and Candidates have little previous connection with the Catholic Church and to our parish, Sponsors play a key support role in providing a warm and friendly liaison into parish life.
This interaction helps to witness a loving culture of the Catholic Faith to others.
You don’t need any special training to be a Sponsor!
In order to be a Sponsor, you need to be a confirmed, practicing Catholic, a member of a parish, and have a willingness to walk with someone on their journey into the Catholic faith.
If you’d like to be a Sponsor for the Becoming Catholic (OCIA / RCIA) process,please contact Dave Brunsman at: