The earliest Christians recognised the need to provide instruction about the teachings of Jesus Christ before a Baptism could take place, and the Catholic Church honours this tradition today. OCIA stands for Order of Christian Initiation of Adults. The actual OCIA is the collected Rites of Initiation, and we tend to refer to the period of instruction, the Catechesis, as an OCIA program, or similar.
Most parishes, but not all, have an OCIA program. There is certainly one in every Diocese that you will be able to join. Sometimes the parish priest will provide instruction, but often a member of the laity (a member of the parish) will take you through what it means to be Catholic with a group of people who are taking the same path as you.
One of the ways we at the Catholic Enquiry Centre can help you is by finding an OCIA program for you to join. We can speak to the Parish Priest in your area on your behalf and discover your best options with your unique circumstances in mind.
For you, being part of an OCIA program is a chance to be part of a community and to find companions on your journey towards the Grace found in the Sacraments. Through Baptism, you enter into the Body of Christ, and being part of an OCIA community represents your first steps.
Once you have completed an OCIA program, you will feel ready for your Baptism or Confirmation into the Catholic Faith. For more information about an OCIA program near you, please contact your local parish office or you can call Rebecca at the Catholic Enquiry Centre on 04 385 8518 or email [email protected].