RCIA is the process whereby adults (age 8 and older in Canon Law), both baptized and non-baptized, are brought into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Please see below for details regarding how OLPH administers the sacraments to those individuals age 17 and younger.
RCIA for Children up to 6 Years Old
At OLPH, all children who have not reached 1st grade level are baptized without any formal process beyond a meeting with the parents. Those children younger than age 7 are, in Church terms, not considered to have reached the age of reason. The age of reason – 7 years old – is the age at which the church becomes concerned with ensuring that the child is properly catechized before receiving the sacraments.
RCIA for Elementary Aged Children (age 8 – 8th Grade)
Canon Law marks age 7 as the age of reason. This is not necessarily the age of adulthood, but it is considered to be the age by which most children are able to make decisions concerning their well-being. At OLPH, we administer the sacraments of initiation, which include Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation to children of elementary age on a case by case basis, and only administer the sacraments that their peers have already received.
A conference is held, either in person or over the phone, to assess the child’s family situation and desire for communion with the church. Often, the parents are asked to start attending Mass regularly, and it is only after that the children will be given the sacraments. If a child attends OLPH School and expresses a desire to receive the sacraments, that child will generally be allowed to receive the sacraments without any formal RCIA process. If a child does not attend OLPH School, an alternative RCIA process is established to catechize the child and the family so that the child may receive the sacraments. Children in the school are catechized in the classroom, so there is no need for an alternative process.
RCIA for High School Students
High school students are considered to be similar to adults, and so they are asked to go through the formal RCIA process.