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Becoming Catholic

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about the process.

We are glad that you are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith. We’ve tried to answer the most frequently asked questions about the process. If you need more information, please contact our Office for Worship via email at oremus@archmil.org or by phone at 414-769-3348 from Milwaukee, or, toll free at 800-769-9373, ext. 348, within the 10 counties of the archdiocese.

How do I find out about Catholicism?

If you are interested in finding out more about the Catholic faith, one of the best ways is to contact a parish near you and speak with the pastor and parish staff. You can also explore the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the official summary of our faith.

What if I think I want to become Catholic?

The first step in the process is to get connected with a local parish. Ask Catholic friends and neighbors about their parish. Visit some near your home. Go to Mass and talk with other parishioners. Parish priests will be happy to talk with you about becoming Catholic. Please remember that Sunday is a very busy time for them however, and it may be best to make an appointment to see them during the week.

If you decide that you want to become Catholic, you will participate in a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation, or RCIA as it is sometimes referred to. In RCIA you will learn about the teachings of Jesus as the Catholic Church has handed them on and also have the opportunity to participate in the life of the parish through service and prayer.

What does initiation into the Catholic Church entail?

If you have not been baptized, the Christian initiation process prepares you to become a Catholic Christian through the sacraments of Christian initiation: baptism, confirmation and holy Communion.

If you have been baptized in another Christian church, the initiation process prepares you to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church by celebrating the sacraments of confirmation and holy Communion.

I’m a baptized Catholic. Is RCIA for me?

If you have been baptized as an infant, but have not celebrated the sacraments of confirmation and holy Communion, the RCIA program would be appropriate for you.

If you are an inactive Catholic, one that has celebrated all the sacraments of initiation, and would like to return to active participation in a parish, speak with a parish staff member at a Catholic Church near you about “Catholics Returning Home.” 

How long does it take to become Catholic?

The RCIA preparation usually lasts for several months. Many parishes begin classes in the fall. RCIA candidates for all three sacraments of initiation will typically celebrate the sacraments during the Easter Vigil liturgy on Holy Saturday.

What if I change my mind?

Seeking information about the Catholic faith will not commit or oblige you to become Catholic. We encourage you to learn as much about the faith and take as much time as you need to make this decision. While we love the Catholic faith, and hope that you will also come to love it, we will not pressure anyone to make such an important decision.

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The Archdiocese of Milwaukee

3501 South Lake Drive
PO Box 070912
Milwaukee, WI 53207-0912

Phone:  (414) 769-3300
Toll-Free: (800) 769-9373
Fax:  (414)  769-3408