BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION
RCIA – Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Do you want to be Catholic?
Want to learn more?
At Saint Paul’s, we invite anyone who is interested in learning about the Catholic Faith to attend our RCIA classes. Whether you are just curious about the Faith, are certain you want to be Catholic, or are already Catholic but haven’t received all of your sacraments, these classes are for you! If you are interested in learning more about the process or would like to start, fill out the form linked below.
When and where do the RCIA classes meet?
The RCIA classes are held on Sunday nights from 7:15 – 8:15 pm on the fifth floor of Saint Paul’s. A new class starts every fall semester. This year, our first class is on October 15, 2023. Email Riley (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fill out the form above if interested!
How long does the RCIA process last?
For most people, the process lasts for two semesters.
Who should attend the classes?
RCIA is for:
- Adults who want to be baptized
- Baptized Christians of other faith traditions who are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith or becoming Catholic
- Baptized Catholics who have not yet received their first Communion and/or Confirmation
Can non-students join the program?
If you are not currently associated with UW-Madison, Edgewood College, or Madison College as an undergraduate or graduate student, please contact Riley (email@example.com) or Fr. Tim (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your options. Saint Paul’s is primarily geared towards students and they are our first priority; however, if we are able, we would love to help you out!
Will you pressure me about becoming Catholic?
Our RCIA classes are a casual environment without any pressure. We simply want to assist you in discerning God’s will for your life at this time. We will help you through prayer, answering questions, and talking with you. We are just here to help you in whatever way we can!
Have more questions?
Please contact Riley (email@example.com) with any questions or fill out the form at the top of this page.
If you would like to be Baptized, contact the RCIA program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
“Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.
“Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.
“The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.“
– Catechism of the Catholic Church #1250-1253
When do Baptisms take place at Saint Paul’s?
Adult Baptisms take place during the Easter Vigil.
Infant Baptisms normally take place on any Sunday that is convenient to the family and does not conflict with the student ministry at Saint Paul’s. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recommends that children be baptized within the first weeks of their birth. Please contact Fr. Eric Sternberg (email@example.com) to schedule a Baptism for your child.
Can my child be Baptized at Saint Paul’s?
All canonical members of the parish, that is students, recent graduates, and faculty of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, have the right to have their children baptized at Saint Paul’s. We recognize that some alumni may wish to return to have their infant baptized at Saint Paul’s, but due to the good witness of children being baptized in their home parish, we currently only allow infant baptisms for canonical members of the parish.
What are the requirements for Godparents?
To be baptized a child is to have at least one Godparent. A Godparent must be a confirmed practicing Catholic of at least 16 years of age. If the child has a second Godparent, it is to be of the opposite sex. You may also choose in place of a second Godparent to have a Christian Witness, which would be a non-Catholic baptized Christian 16 years of age or older.
All Godparents must sign the Godparent Oath Form. A Baptism Form and Godparent Oath Form are required for the Baptism to take place at Saint Paul’s. Please bring these forms with you on the scheduled Baptism date.
What is Confirmation?
On the day of Pentecost, those who had come to believe in Resurrection Life received an anointing, a blessing that marked them, which took the form of flames descending from heaven. They had had already been baptized and even encountered the Risen Lord. But there was still something more that God wanted to give them, something they needed. The anointing they received on the day of Pentecost was a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit.
On the day we were baptized the Resurrected Life was born within us when God the Father, Son, and Spirit came to dwell in our Soul. We’re not saved just for our own sake. God has a design, a purpose, in which he wants every believer to share.
We have a Mission, each of us, one unlike any other, and it will take more than we have in us to accomplish it. We need union with the same Spirit that animated Jesus, and so we’re given Seven Gifts that make our souls suited to his presence.
In the sacrament of Confirmation we renew the vows of Baptism, and we make a pledge to live out this Mission. The sevenfold gift itself is bestowed through a tangible experience, an anointing with balm scented oil blessed at Easter. If we’re disposed to receive it, it can be, as it’s meant to be, a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit.
To prepare ourselves to receive these Gifts and live out this Mission, we undergo a period of learning, prayer, and purification. It’s the same process by which new believers prepare for baptism and non-catholics prepare to be received into the Church. It’s called the Rite of Christian Initiation, in particular for those who seek it as Adults. We call it RCIA for short.
What are the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord
How can I be Confirmed at Saint Paul’s?
If you would like to be Confirmed, contact the Confirmation program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.