Considering becoming Catholic?
We at St. James have a profound call from the Holy Father to bring about reunion between our separated brethren and the Catholic Church. We seek to answer those deep-hearted questions that each person has. We truly want this to be a time of faith seeking understanding. We know this is an individual journey that takes each and every one down different paths. We seek to accommodate those needs individually or as families in our Christian Initiation process.
Why Explore Catholicism through St. James Catholic Church?
Classes Designed for You: We get where you are coming from. Our pastor, Fr. Mayer, who teaches most of the classes, is himself a convert. He grew up as a devout evangelical and knows exactly what it feels like to make this journey. Because of his own experience, he has a knack for answering Protestant concerns and explaining the fullness of the faith as found in the Catholic Church.
Uncompromising Teaching: You can expect robust, engaging, fully Catholic teaching that is completely faithful to the magisterial teaching of the Church. We seek to answer those deep-hearted questions that each person has. After completing the classes you will have an excellent grasp on the fullness of the faith and be able to make a fully informed decision whether or not to become Catholic.
Welcoming Hospitality: Classes begin with introductions by those attending to encourage connections. Each class also has food, normally small sandwiches, chips, and drinks.
Four Ways to Consider Becoming Catholic
1. Attend 13 Class Sessions: scheduled every other Monday evening, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM, September 25, 2023 – March 18, 2024 at the Salem Centre (7235 Bentley Rd, Jacksonville). This is the best option as it allows you to digest teachings at a gradual pace along with others who are going through the same process. However, depending on your life situation you may need to choose one of the other options.
2. Attend the four Saturday Intensives: 9 AM – 5 PM, October 28, 2023, December 16, 2023, January 27, 2024, March 9, 2024 at Fr. Mayer’s office (located out of Frye Insurance 4161 Carmichael Ave., #143, Jacksonville)
3. Self-Study: read the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults and meet at least monthly at the convenience of you and your sponsor to review, discuss, and ask questions about what you are learning.
4. Combination: You are welcome to combine any of the above options depending on your needs and your life circumstances. For example, if you miss one of the 13 classes, you are can stop in to the part of the Saturday intensive that covers the material that you missed or to complete the material via assigned reading and essay question writing.
RSVP now for the classes you plan to take. Space is limited and priority is given to those who sign up first.
More about the Process for becoming Catholic
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) is a process that helps interested individuals discern whether or not they would like to become part of the Catholic Church.
Who is RCIA For?
- Anyone who is unbaptized
- Those baptized in another Christian tradition who are considering full communion with the Catholic Church.
- Catholics baptized as infants, but who never received any instruction or formation in the Catholic Church and have yet to celebrate the sacraments of reconciliation, confirmation and eucharist.
- Any individual, Catholic or non-Catholic, who would like to learn more about the Catholic Faith.
What are the requirements to be part of RCIA?
- A person must have reached or be older than the age of reason (normally 7 or older)
- A curiosity or desire to explore becoming Catholic
- Not required: an upfront decision to become Catholic.
What is the background and history of RCIA?
During the first centuries of Christianity, persons who desired to be followers of Jesus engaged in a thorough period of prayer, preparation, instruction and apprenticeship all set within the Christian Community. They spent one to three years in formation in what became known as the catechumenate. The term catechumen simply means one who is learning. Throughout the process of preparation, the catechumens became immersed in the teachings of Jesus and in the prayer life of the Church. This period of immersion ended with the reception of the sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation and First Eucharist—in that order, at Easter. The process generally took several years.
During the fifth century, after Christianity became legal, large numbers of people desired to be Christian. The catechumenate was dissolved and people were brought into the Church without much preparation.
In recent years, the Catholic Church has returned to this earlier formation process, now called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.