Becoming Catholic (OCIA)


Welcome and what a joy for us that you are exploring the Catholic faith.

If you are interested in becoming a full member of the Catholic Church, or you just want to find out what the Catholic Church does and believes, then “Becoming Catholic (OCIA)” is meant for you.


Please fill out a registration form by:

  1. Downloading the registration form as a Word document: this allows you to type in the answers directly on the form. Once completed, please save it and email it to Cindy Stewart, Parish Secretary, at cstewart@holyfamilyrockford.org.
  2. Downloading the registration form as a PDF: print the form, fill it out, and return it to the parish office by mailing it or bringing it to the office. If you mail it to the office, please put ‘Attn: OCIA Registration’ on the envelope.


The links for both options are below. Please fill out one registration form per person attending. If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Stewart at cstewart@holyfamilyrockford.org.



What is “Becoming Catholic (OCIA)”?

“Becoming Catholic (OCIA)” explores the faith and life in the Catholic Church and is a journey and a preparation period for those who are not baptized or baptized in another Christian faith tradition.

It is a formation period that fosters a relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and deepens that relationship with the goal of becoming an intentional disciple of Jesus Christ in His Church.

You become Catholic at the celebration of the three Sacraments of Initiation, which are Baptism (for those who are not yet baptized), Confirmation and Holy Eucharist, which takes place every year at the Easter Vigil, the evening before Easter Sunday.


What does OCIA mean in the name “Becoming Catholic (OCIA)”?

‘Becoming Catholic (OCIA)’ is another name we use for “The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults”, known simply as “OCIA” which is the Church’s formal name of this formation process.  A ‘Rite’ represents a church tradition about how the Sacraments are to be celebrated.


What if I am already Baptized in another Christian Faith Tradition?

If you have been validly baptized outside the Catholic Church, ‘Becoming Catholic (OCIA)’ is for you as well; it is a process that you explore and learn about the Catholic faith and prepare to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.  It is a formation period that deepens your relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ which you began at your Baptism, with the goal of becoming an intentional disciple of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church.

Validly baptized persons become Catholic by being formally received into the Catholic by making a public profession of the Catholic faith and receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist.


What if I am already a Baptized Catholic but have not yet received the Sacraments of Confirmation or Holy Communion?

If you are a Baptized Catholic and have not yet received the Sacraments of Eucharist and/or Confirmation, ‘Becoming Catholic’ is for you as a formation and preparation period to deepen your relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ with the goal of becoming an intentional disciple of Jesus Christ as you prepare to complete these Sacraments of Initiation.


How about Children over the Age of Reason (7 years old) who are not Baptized?

“Becoming Catholic (OCIA)” has a track that is adapted for children that is intended for children not baptized as infants, who have attained the use of reason and are of catechetical age (seven and older).  They seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or guardians or, with parental permission, on their own initiative. They, along with at least one parent, attend ‘Becoming Catholic (OCIA)’, although it  is highly encouraged that both parents attend with them.

Such children are capable of receiving and nurturing a personal faith and forming a relationship with Our Lord Jesus Christ with the goal of becoming an intentional disciple of Jesus Christ in His Church through adulthood.


How long does it take to become Catholic?

How long does it take for any relationship to develop? We all journey on different paths at different times.  Becoming Catholic (OCIA) is a faith journey and all journeys or adventures take time.

Before a person is ready to be received into the Church, whether by baptism or by profession of faith, preparation is necessary. The journey can last for as long as a few years or for a shorter time that can be less than a year.  The amount and form of this preparation depends on the individual’s circumstance and how the individual is growing in the faith. Together we will be enriched by prayer, study, reflection and discipleship as we accompany you along the entire way as you explore what the Catholic Church does and believes as you deepen your relationship with Jesus Christ.

The Becoming Catholic (OCIA) exerts no pressure on people in any way; you will find yourself in a friendly and welcoming group where you can comfortably contemplate this important decision in your life.


How often do you meet?

There are weekly meetings that we attend as a group. The time and date are to be determined. The meetings present an overview of Catholic beliefs and provide an opportunity to ask questions and explore your thoughts and any concerns you might have.

All sessions are filled with learning, spiritual formation, and new Church friends.  Every person has a parish companion who also attends the sessions with them to share in the faith journey.

During the course of the process, members of the Becoming Catholic (OCIA) group are to participate in several preparatory Rites, which usually take place during Sunday Mass.

Attendance is obviously very important to the overall goal of being a knowledgeable and engaged Catholic.

The official start to Becoming Catholic (OCIA) sessions generally begins in September. However, if you feel that God is calling you to become Catholic, we would love to hear from you and begin the process anytime throughout the year.


How do I start this process for myself?

Simply call the parish office at 815-398-4280.