4.4.1 General Norms for Christian Initiation of Adults

1. Each pastor is to see that the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is fully and properly implemented in the parish according to the provisions of canon law, liturgical law, the particular law of the episcopal conference (i.e., National Statutes for the Catechumenate) and these policies of the diocesan bishop. [1]

    Smaller parishes may wish to collaborate in order to fulfill this implementation, though the rituals should be celebrated in the parish to which the candidates belong.

2. The individual rites of the Christian initiation of adults are to be observed in their integrity and proper sequence according to those norms. Apart from danger of death, the period of the catechumenate is not to be abbreviated without the permission of the diocesan bishop.

3. The pastor and all who assist him in the Christian initiation and reception of adults are to have a copy of the Parish Christian Initiation Manual (1998 and with revisions), to be familiar with its contents, and to keep it up to date.

4. Those who conduct programs related to Christian initiation are to be familiar with all other diocesan norms associated with Christian initiation and observe them. (Such programs include inquiry or precatechumenate, catechumenate, reception into full communion with the church, the reception of confirmation and Eucharist by uncatechized adult Catholics. A list of those norms appears at the end of this subsection.)

5. The initiation of children of catechetical age proceeds according to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and the National Statutes for the Catechumenate.

   a. Unbaptized children of catechetical age, after suitable formation and catechesis, will receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist), preferably at the Easter Vigil or during the Easter Season as stated in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, nos. 304-307.

   b. Children of catechetical age who have been validly baptized in a separated Christian community will first make a profession of faith and be admitted to Confirmation and Eucharist (National Statutes for the Catechumenate, 30-37). The confirmation of such candidates for reception should not be deferred.

They may be received into full communion on almost any Sunday of the Church year.

   c. Children of catechetical age who have been baptized Catholic, but never catechized, should be encouraged to participate in similar catechesis and formation, always recognizing their baptismal status. They may be admitted to Confirmation and Eucharist at the same liturgy. A presbyter must request the faculty to confirm outside of the Easter Vigil.



[1] Pastoral Letter and Guidelines for the Implementation of the RCIA, December 4, 1988, Bishop Kenneth Povish, which mandated parish implementation of the RCIA.


Date approved by Bishop


Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor