Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC) is similar to the Sacraments Program described above, but in most instances it applies to children and young people, generally of school age, who have not been baptised. The RCIC program can also provide assistance to those children who wish to prepare to receive the sacraments they have missed since Baptism, or who are seeking to join the Catholic Church.
Participants attend RCIC classes on a regular basis, usually beginning in September and continuing through the Easter season, with holiday breaks. Each child/young person comes into the RCIC program with different needs. Taking into consideration their age and levels of maturity, the goal of the RCIC is to provide participants with an understanding of what it means to know and love God, and to live a Christian life as a Catholic Christian.
The RCIC team includes not only the catechist and the child/young person but also parents and/or guardian of the participant as appropriate. The preparation follows the structure of the Adult Rite of Christian Initiation, with each session leading to the next. The sessions are designed for both student and parent participation, while the material sent home is intended to encourage and support family catechesis.
Every child/young person requires a sponsor. The sponsor is someone other than a parent, who can support the child in his or her Catholic journey. The sponsor must be a Baptised and Confirmed Catholic, who is over the age of 16, and is in good standing with the Catholic Church.
Children and young people in the RCIC who have been successfully prepared will receive the sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist – during the Easter Vigil or at another suitable time. Those who have been baptised and are prepared for the sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and/or Confirmation will celebrate these sacraments at a negotiated time.