What Is The RCIA? The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is a process through which men and women enter the Catholic Church. It includes several stages marked by study, prayer, and rites at Mass. Participants in the RCIA are known as catechumens. They undergo a process of conversion as they study the Gospel, profess faith in Jesus and the Catholic Church, and receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Holy Eucharist. The RCIA process follows the ancient practice of the Church and was restored by the Second Vatican Council as the normal way adults prepare for the sacraments of initiation. In 1974, the Rite for Christian Initiation for Adults was formally approved for use in the United States.