Baptism of School-aged Children
Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Children (RCIC) is the process by which children and young people, generally of school age, can prepare for Baptism and the Sacraments of Initiation. The Sacraments of Initiation in the Catholic Church are Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
At our Parishes of Camberwell, Balwyn Deepdene and Surrey Hills Wattle Park, the RCIC is open to those who wish to prepare their school-age children for the Sacraments of Initiation. This includes children and young people:
- who have not been baptised;
- who have been baptised and wish to prepare to receive the sacraments they have missed since Baptism, such as Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation;
- who were baptised in another Christian Church and now want to journey to full communion with the Catholic Church.
Whether your family is just entering the Church, is returning after time away, have decided as a family to delay a child’s sacramental preparation, or any other circumstance, we welcome your expression of interest in the RCIC.
The RCIC is seen as a developmental journey in faith. It progresses through gradual stages, and over time it introduces the participants to our parish community of faith and worship. The preparation follows the structure of the Adult Rite of Christian Initiation, with each session leading to the next.
We recognise that each child and 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 participants attend RCIC classes on a regular basis, usually beginning in September and continuing through to the Easter season of the following year, with holiday breaks.
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.
Parent and Sponsor Involvement
The RCIC sessions are designed for both student and parent participation, while the material sent home is intended to encourage and support family catechesis. The RCIC team includes not only the catechist and the child/young person but also parents and/or guardian of the participant as appropriate.
Every child and 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.