RCIA Is Ongoing! Join us at RCIA after 9 am mass on Sunday!

The Christian life is about following Jesus—it is living a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in a way that changes your life. If you are already Christian, we invite you to deepen that relationship by experiencing Christ through His Church. If you are not Christian, come, see what it’s all about. Being Catholic is more than a way of thinking or worshiping; it is an all-encompassing way of living life together as a community, knowing and loving Jesus though His Church, serving God and each other.

Classes will meet on Sunday morning from 10:15-11:15 am (give or take), in Varallo Parish Hall. If you are interested in attending the RCIA classes, please contact the parish office by phone or by signing up online here: RCIA REGISTRATION

What is RCIA?

RCIA stands for Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Those who are interested in joining the Catholic Church do so by the RCIA process.

We also welcome those who are already members who wish to share their faith with those in the RCIA process or who wish to learn more about their faith in an adult –education forum. Some in RCIA are being prepared as they await resolution of marriage issues that have delayed their entry into the Church. Some are still exploring the faith. But the focus of the class is always a presentation and discussion of the Catholic faith to prepare people for entering the church at Easter. And we are all on the journey together, learning with each other and helping each other along the way.

The RCIA process

The RCIA process is a journey that takes place within the Catholic community. We, the Church, will help and guide you through this process which is marked by four distinct periods:

Inquiry (September-November) - This is the period where you inquire into specifics about the Catholic Church, its practices and its traditions. The inquiry period will help you understand how Christ is present to us in the Church and how knowing Him through the Church brings with it a deep and intimate relationship with Christ.

Growth (December-Ash Wednesday) - This begins the second period, a time for you to grow in faith and knowledge of God, Jesus, and the Church. During this period, we explore in depth the rich teachings of Jesus through His Church and come to understand the sacraments He left for us as a means of grace. At the end of this period, if you wish to prepare to join the Church at Easter, you are accepted by the Bishop through the Rite of Election or the Call to Continuing Conversion in preparation for the Easter Vigil. If for any reason you are not yet ready for that step, you are still welcome in the class—the study, fellowship and journey continue for us all.

Preparation, Purification & Enlightenment (Lent) - This is a time for more personal spiritual growth and includes final preparation for receiving the sacraments of initiation (baptism if necessary, confirmation and first communion) at the Easter Vigil (the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday).

Mystagogy (Easter-September and ongoing…)– After the Easter Vigil, Christian formation continues, and so does your walk in faith. The community remains together to continue to learn more about the Catholic faith and to continue to share the journey. There is always something more to learn—the treasury of the Church is limitless.

The RCIA class also participates in various aspects of parish life, providing service for parish events, participating in prayer services and parish celebrations, and serving at the Community Kitchen twice during the course of the year. There may even be a field trip or two to experience other kinds of Catholic worship and to learn about various forms of religious life, depending on class interest and time.

In short, RCIA is the process by which you will be able come to an intimate and life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church and what she teaches, with others who are on the same journey. It’s a time for questions and answers and more questions and exploring and experiencing life—worship, fellowship, and service-- in a Catholic community.


If I come to RCIA, does that mean I am committed to joining the Church?

No. You may make that decision, you may decide that you are not interested in joining, or you may decide that you need more time. There’s no obligation—inquiring minds and hearts are always welcome.

Is there a lot of reading?

Some, not a lot. And we provide the books.

Is there a test at the end?

No! RCIA is an experience that will certainly teach you lots of “facts” but it’s also meant to help you experience what life is like as a Catholic—the Catholic faith is more than a way of thinking or worshiping, it’s a way of living. The RCIA experience is designed to introduce you to all aspects of Catholic living.

Does my spouse have to come?

No. RCIA is an individual journey, though some couples take it together. A decision whether to join the Church is yours and yours alone. But spouses are always welcome in class.

May I join after class has started?

Of course. The Team will help get you caught up on the material that has already been covered. It is never too late to join the class.

Is it every week? What if I have to miss class?

Except for Christmas, we try to meet every week. If you miss class, contact the team and they’ll help you catch up on anything you miss. Class attendance is important—this is about becoming part of a Catholic community and you can’t do that without being involved. But sometimes you just can’t be there and we understand. If the class time is inconvenient for you because of work or other commitments that cannot be rearranged, please contact Dan Pacitti or Terry Jones (by clicking the red "Click to Contact" button at the bottom of this page) to discuss alternative arrangements. RCIA is here for you!

Why does it take so long?

There is a lot to learn. Catholics have a lot in common with their Protestant brothers and sisters, but there is a lot that is different. Coming into the Church is a serious step and for many, a big change. If you take that step, you’ll be asked to profess before God and the congregation that you accept all that the God has revealed and all that the Church teaches so that you may live the Catholic life to the fullest. RCIA is meant to help you understand those teachings, and that takes time.

How do I sign up?

If you are interested in joining the class, call the parish office any time or click here to register online - it only takes a few seconds!. (Things happen, so if, by chance, you do not hear in a week, send an email to us by clicking the red "Click to Contact" button at the bottom of this page. We will set up an initial meeting with Fr. Carter so that we can personally welcome you, get to know you a bit, and answer any particular questions you might have.

Check out what is happening in class at the RCIA blog

More questions? Call Dan Pacitti at 865-335-3076 or email him by clicking the red "Click to Contact" button at the bottom of this page.

Click to Contact