Answer From: Fr. Jim
Full Question: In the Roman Church, when adults become Catholic, they go through RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), this can be up to a year (or more), of weekly classes going over Church teachings, prayer, etc.
Is there an RCIA in the Ukrainian Church? If an adult wants to become Catholic, particularly Ukrainian Catholic, what is the process?
Yes, there is a Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) within the Ukrainian Catholic Church, but it is not as formal and standardized as the Roman Catholic Church. Depending on the size of the parish, there may be a formal program, with either a priest or RCIA Coordinator leading the course. Quite often in smaller parishes it is one on one with the priest that takes several months to a year of personal reading, discussions with a Ukrainian Catholic priest, watching religious education videos, and especially taking part within the life of the church, by attending services and being part of a parish community. It is especially important to learn the basic catechism of the Ukrainian Catholic Church and is committed developing a personal prayer discipline, in order to growth in one’s spiritual journey.
To begin the process, I would encourage you to visit a Ukrainian Catholic Church and experience the Divine Liturgy and other services that are celebrated throughout the year. If you are still intrigued or completely confused, then contact the priest, the church number is usually on the parish website or bulletin at the entrance to the church. Set up a meeting with the priest and discuss your interest in becoming a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Guess what, you do not have to be Ukrainian to join, you only have to understand that the Byzantine faith is that of Kyivan Rus (modern day Ukraine), and thus the expression of faith is within the cultural context of that ethnic group. Although the majority of our parishes do offer English only or bilingual services.
The beauty of the Ukrainian Catholic church interiors and liturgical services are often what attracts converts to the church. You may have attended a wedding or even a funeral in a Ukrainian Catholic church and became increasing curious in what this place is all about. That is the seed that continues to grow in your heart, that is the call of God, an invitation as he calls you personally to: COME AND SEE.
May God Bless Your Spiritual Journey!
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