What are the steps of OCIA?

Do you or someone you know want to become Catholic? Are you an adult interested in Baptism? Are you a Baptized adult interested in communion and/or Confirmation?

The Order of Christian Initiation for Adults (OCIA) is a journey in which you experience support, discovery, and fellowship. It is for any adult who is looking to start or deepen their faith journey by preparing to receive any of the Sacraments of initiation or for anyone looking to learn more about their Catholic faith and grow deeper in it.

The OCIA has several distinct stages that are good model of faith development itself and can be used by anyone who wants to pursue a deeper faith life and continue to grow as a Catholic Christian. We will be covering a whole range of topics focusing on Scripture, and the Sacraments with specifically Catholic lense. The stages are as follows:


This is the initial period
before you decide to
enter the Catholic
Church. You are asking
questions and checking
if you aren’t yet ready
to commit.


In the second stage,
those who decide to
enter the Church start
to be trained for a life

in Christ, they are
called catechumens,
an ancient name
coming from the early
Church. In this stage,
they are developing
their faith and are being
“catechized” – learning
catechism, or the basic
points about Catholic
faith and life.

Purification and Preparation

In the third stage, the
Church will help you to
focus and intensify
your faith as you

prepare to commit your
life to Christ and be
received into the
Church at Easter. If
you are following the
OCIA process, you will
go through a beautiful
series of Gospel based
meditations during
Lent, which is the time
frame of this period.


After reception into the
Church at Easter, this
period lets you reflect
and learn more about

the mysteries of the
Mass and the
Sacraments that you
now participate in

Who is it for?

The OCIA process is designed for adults who are unbaptized or those who were baptized as infants but had little experience with regular church attendance. Individuals baptized in another Christian tradition who have little experience with the Roman Catholic tradition often find this process to be helpful in their discernment of becoming Roman Catholic.

If you are an adult who was baptized and active in another Christian tradition and have more than a year of experience within the Roman Catholic tradition and want more information or want to sign up, please contact the program Director, Sr. Margarita Gomez, RMI. Email: gomezclaretian@gmail.com

Role of the Sponsor

The Role of the Sponsor

A sponsor for the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA) process is a companion for someone walking the journey to initiation. They are not a catechist, so do not worry if you “don’t know a ton” about the Catholic Faith.

Sponsors represent the parish community to the catechumen/candidate as well as stand on behalf of the catechumen/candidate to the parish. The sponsor should be someone who really strives to live out their Catholic faith in a rich, joyful, and dedicated way.
From the Rites of Acceptance and Welcome their role is:

  • To be a bridge between the catechumen or candidate and the parish community
  • To share with the catechumen or candidate the practices, traditions, and prayers of our Catholic Faith
  • To assist the parish initiation team in the formation process

Who Can Be a Sponsor

  • Must be a fully initiated Catholic (Baptism, Confirmation, 1st Holy Communion)
  • A sponsor must lead a life in harmony with the nature of the ministry of a sponsor (regular attendance of Mass, reception of the Eucharist)
  • A sponsor must attend the few required sessions to the best of his/her ability

A Note on Spouses

Spouses can be sponsors, but it is not encouraged. The sponsor must be objective in discerning the individual’s desire and readiness to be fully initiated into the Church. Spouses may not be able to provide this objectivity, though exceptions can be made.
Sponsor Commitment

Thank you for deciding to be a sponsor. The responsibilities are few, but crucial, to the OCIA process.

  • Email, phone call, or invite out for coffee your candidate a few times a month to “check in” on their process of discernment
  • Attend the liturgical rites (dates listed below). If you cannot attend, we will enlist a proxy to stand in for you.
  • Always invited, but not required, to attend Thursday evening class (6:30-8 PM)
  • Attend Mass with OCIA student at the 11:30 AM Mass once a month
  • Invite them to parish events, like Fish Fries or the Fall Festival, so they experience the community life of the parish, not just the sacramental

We, the people of St. Ann, will continue to grow deeper
in our faith, walking humbly with our God, through Christ.
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