Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) for Saint John Paul II Parish, Cedar Springs and Mary Queen of Apostles, Sand Lake 2022-2023

Do you someone who is interested in becoming Catholic or would simply like to learn more about the Catholic faith? The catechists in our RCIA program walk alongside those who are discerning God’s call and help prepare them to become fully initiated members at the Easter Vigil. Please share this calendar with anyone who is seeking the truth that only faith can bring. Sessions are held on Sundays from 9:30-10:30AM with dismissal during Mass.

2022-2023 Schedule

September 25, 2022—Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens and Welcoming the Baptized but Uncatechized: The 10:30 AM Mass marks the beginning of a new step in the faith journey of the inquirers.  They will be accepted either as the catechumens (those who have not been baptized) or be welcomed as candidates (those who have been validly baptized in different denominations and now seek to enter full communion with the Catholic Church or those who were baptized as Catholics but have never been catechized.)

September 2022-February 2023 – Period of the Catechumenate: This is the time of nurturing the faith, which already began in the early stage of the pre-catechumenate; and it is the continuation of conversation for the candidates.  Every Sunday there will be a Dismissal at the 10:30 AM Mass.  With the help of various catechists, they will learn about the faith of the Church based on the readings proclaimed at Sunday Mass.

Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023– Period of Purification and Enlightenment: With Ash Wednesday, the Church begins a new liturgical season—Lent. For those in the RCIA program, they enter the period of Purification and Enlightenment, intensifying the preparation for the reception into full communion with the Catholic Church.  On Ash Wednesday, although there is no Dismissal, candidates and catechumens are encouraged to attend one of the Ash Wednesday liturgies with the community and be imposed with ashes on their foreheads to begin a journey of renewal and penance with the Church. Please check the bulletin for the liturgical schedule.

February 26 2023—RCIA Retreat/Rite of Sending: Candidates, Catechumens, their sponsors and family members (if they would like to join us) will meet from 10:00AM-4:00PM for a retreat. We then send them to the Cathedral to meet our Bishop, Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak the next day!

March 5, 2023 – First Sunday of Lent: Rite of Election:  Candidates, Catechumens, sponsors, and family members will go to the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Grand Rapids for the Rite of Election. The time will be announced as we get closer.

March 12, 2023—Second Sunday of Lent:  After the homily, there will be a Penitential Rite for the candidates. Then, after Mass the priest will meet with the candidates, catechumens, sponsors, and godparents again to complete their learning about the Sacraments of Christian Initiation.

March 19, March 26, April 2– Third-Fifth Sundays of Lent: In addition to the Dismissals during Mass, we will celebrate the First, Second, and Third Scrutinies for our catechumens.  During one of the Masses (to be announced) there will be other preparation rituals such as the ephphetha: handing out the “Our Father” and the “Creed” to both candidates and catechumens.

April 2, 2023 – Palm Sunday.  On this day, the Catholic Church begins Holy Week. All are encouraged to attend Mass with the community and receive palms and experience the richness of Holy Week. There will be a Dismissal. Also, join us for the Sacred Triduum which begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, continues with Good Friday’s liturgy, and reaches its depth in the Easter Vigil, during which the candidates and catechumens will be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

HOLY SATURDAY April 8, 2023 – At 10:00 am we will gather for Morning Prayer. Then the rehearsal for the Easter Vigil will follow right after the prayer.  At 9:00 pm the Easter Vigil will begin during which the Sacraments will be conferred! Please be at Church in the parish room 30 minutes prior to the Vigil so that we know all are present and ready for the celebration of the Sacraments. Invite friends, relatives, and loved ones to join us for this important day—NEW LIFE IN CHRIST FROM THIS DAY ON! AMEN

Period of Mystagogy.  Now in full communion with the Body of Christ, the neophytes will attend and fully participate in the Sunday Eucharist with us.  After Mass, there will be in-depth learning about the meaning of the sacraments, ministries, and involvement in the life of the Church.


Please contact the Parish office if you are interested in beginning the RCIA process.

Parish Office: 616-696-3904

We pride ourselves in living out the charism and values of
what makes our parish distinctly Catholic.