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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 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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50th Anniversary of Vatican II

The documents from Vatican II have helped fashion the Church we have today.


Our Year of Faith Bulletin Newsletters are a way for Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki to communicate archdiocesan and Year of Faith information to Catholics in the pews. The brief articles are intended to inform them about the Year of Faith, teach them more about their Catholic faith and inspire them to live it more fully, as well as to share it with others.

Any Given Sunday – Video

From the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry – short video clips of people talking about “Why go to Church.”

Year of Faith

April 2013

The Easter Season is a time to celebrate our faith anew. We’re swept up by the power of the Resurrection and everything about our faith should be “on the rise.”

Archbishop Listecki's address to the Evangelization Summit

Archbishop Listecki addresses a gathering of parish leaders from across the Archdiocese discussing his vision and the need for evangelization activity.

Year of Faith

August 2013

Mary: Our Year of Faith Model

Bishop Hying's presentation to the Evangelization Summit

Bishop Hying reminds us that Evangelization is about Jesus. Evangelization, catechesis, the Sacraments and ongoing conversion are all aspects of deepening our relationship with Jesus and growing in our faith.

Bulletin Newsletters

Read the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's latest Year of Faith Bulletin Newsletter Insert.

C4 - Am I Right with God?

What does it take to truly be right with God?

C4 - Are My Everyday Choices Important?

Do my daily decisions & routines really matter that much?

C4 - Are there signs today that Jesus is still working?

Are heavenly miracles things of the past or is Jesus still working in our lives today?

C4 - Can People Really Change?

Is change possible in anyone’s life—even for a really ‘bad’ person?

C4 - Does Being Good Matter?

Why does being a "good" person matter to the Church?

C4 - Does Faith Belong in Public Life?

Is it okay for people to publicize their religious beliefs?

C4 - Does Jesus Still Heal People?

Are heavenly miracles things of the past or does Jesus still heal today?

C4 - God in Human-Form?

Did God really become human in Jesus?

C4 - Heaven, Hell & Purgatory?

What do Catholics believe about purgatory?

C4 - How Am I Supposed to Pray?

What is prayer, and why is it so important?

C4 - How Do I Get to Heaven?

What do we have to do to get to heaven?

C4 - How Do We Keep the Faith?

Times are tough. How do we keep the faith?

C4 - How Do We Know Jesus Rose?

Even if Jesus rose from the dead, what does that mean for me today?

C4 video: Ignite Your Catholic Faith

C4 - Ignite Your Catholic Faith

Watch a video series where former Auxiliary Bishop Don Hying of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discusses the Catechism of the Catholic church and his views on God's importance and relevance in our lives.

C4 - Ignite Your Catholic Faith video series

C4 video archive - watch a video series where Auxiliary Bishop Don Hying of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee discusses the Catechism of the Catholic church and his views on God's importance and relevance in our lives.

C4 - Is It Wrong to Be Rich?

If I'm doing well, am I required to care about others?

C4 - Is Jesus a Savior for Everyone?

Is Jesus a savior for people with different religious beliefs, too?

C4 - Isn't Church Too Restrictive?

Shouldn't responsible adults be able to do whatever they want?

C4 - Jesus is Everywhere. Why Church?

They say Jesus is everywhere. So why do people still go to church every Sunday?

C4 - Should We Always Tell the Truth?

Should we tell the truth, even when it hurts someone?

C4 - The End of the World?

Will there really be an end of the world?

C4 - What are Holy Orders?

How do priests know when they’re receiving “THE” calling?

C4 - What are the Marks of the Church?

What does one, holy, catholic and apostolic mean?

C4 - What Do Catholics Say About Jesus & the Jews?

What is the relationship between Catholics and Jewish people, today?

C4 - What Does Jesus Teach Us About Prayer?

What Does Jesus Teach Us About Prayer?

C4 - What Does Pro-Life Really Mean?

Is being pro-life just about caring for the unborn or others, too?

C4 - What Happens at Mass?

Sometimes church services seem so long. Why is that?

C4 - What Happens to the Bread & Wine?

Is there really a miracle in the blessing of the bread and wine at Mass?

C4 - What Happens When We Die?

How do we know what happens after death?

C4 - What is a Creed?

What are creeds and why do we have them?

C4 - What is Evangelization?

How do I tell others about Church?

C4 - What is God's Design for Marriage?

Why is the covenant of marriage necessary?

C4 - What is Prayer?

What is prayer, and why is it so important?

C4 - What is Sin?

How do I know if my actions are sinful?

C4 - What is the Holy Trinity?

What the meaning behind the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?

C4 - What Kind of Response Does Jesus Require of Me?

What Kind of Response Does Jesus Require of Me?

C4 - What Makes a Happy Family?

Does a family have to be "traditional" to be happy?

C4 - What’s Up with Catholics and Saints?

Explaining the many ins and outs of being a saint.

C4 - What's the Church All About?

What's the whole idea of Church?

C4 - What's the Church's Stance on Intimacy?

How should we handle our intimate relationships?

C4 - What's the Story on Creation?

Creation. The scientific or religious theory? Which one is right?

C4 - Who Determines Right from Wrong?

Who really decides if something is right or wrong?

C4 - Who Gave the Bishops Authority?

Why does the Catholic Church have bishops as leaders?

C4 - Why a Year of Faith?

This Year of Faith series is over. What's next?

C4 - Why Did Jesus Suffer?

If Jesus is the Son of God, why did he suffer on the cross?

C4 - Why Do We Have a Pope?

Why Do We Have a Pope?

C4 - Why is Baptism Important?

Why do Christians get baptized?

C4 - Why is Confirmation Important?

Why do Catholics have confirmations?

C4 - Why Observe the Sacraments?

Why do Catholics observe sacraments?

C4 - Why So Many Churches?

Why Are There So Many Christian Churches?

C4 - Why Tell Sins to a Priest?

Does telling sins to a priest really make a difference?

C4 video - Menu

Why does God matter?

Cardinal Dolan - 7 Point Evangelization Plan - Full text

Cardinal Dolan's 7 Point Evangelization Plan. Full text of address to the College of Cardinals on February 23, 2012.

Cardinal Dolan - 7 Point Evangelization Plan - Summary

This links to a summary of Cardinal Dolan's, 7 Point Evangelization Plan, as posted on

Cardinal Dolan’s address to USCCB Bishops regarding the Year of Faith

Cardinal Dolan’s address to USCCB Bishops regarding the Year of Faith – presented November 14, 2011


The official teachings of the Catholic Church.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Catechism of the Catholic Church listed on the Vatican's website. (Multilingual)

Catechism: Beliefs And Teachings

A catechism is the name given to a written work that contains a summary of all the beliefs of the faith that is used as a teaching tool.


An adult formation program that enhances and supports the Church’s mission to evangelize and teach what Catholics believe and why. Created and hosted by Fr. Robert Barron.

Catholics Come Home

Visit the Catholics Come Home website, where they try to help you begin or continue your faith journey, so you can find true peace, happiness and purpose in life.

Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization

Flip through the page of a new on-line journal for the New Evangelization.

Year of Faith

December 2012

"The Advent of Christ in the Year of Faith"

Disciples Called To Witness

Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization is a website established by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, designed to help diocesan and parish leaders seeking to develop faith formation programs for the New Evangelization.

Evangelization Focus Form Results 2012

Results from parishes that filled out the May 5, 2012 Evangelization Focus Form for Lent 2013.

Evangelization Summit

This gathering of parish leaders from across the Archdiocese learned about of the vision and the need for evangelization activity from Archbishop Listecki and Bishop Hying.

Evangelization Summit evaluation summary

A summary of individual evaluations from the May 5, 2012 Evangelization Summit.

Evangelization Summit small group summaries

A summary of the small group discussions from the May 5, 2012, Evangelization Summit.


The Year of Faith events hosted by parishes, schools and central offices.

Family Resources - USCCB

Things that families can do, right in the home, to help deepen their relationship with Christ.

Year of Faith

February 2013

"Packing the Necessary Supplies"

For Your Marriage

An initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Herald of Hope Columns

Articles to further people’s understanding of the new evangelization.

Year of Faith

June 2013

"Growing as Disciples of the Eucharist in the Year of Faith"

New Evangelization

Inviting people into a relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.


News articles from local sources, the USCCB and the Vatican.

Year of Faith

October 2012

"The Door Is Always Open"

Year of Faith

October 2013

Living in the Light of Faith: The Year of Faith and the Wisdom of “Lumen Fidei”

Pastoral Recommendations for the Year

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued its Note with pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith.

Plenary Indulgence

Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki has issued a Plenary Indulgence on the following occasions.

Recommendations for Parishes

Information specific to parishes taken from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Note with pastoral recommendations. (PDF format)


Resources from the central office, USCCB and the Vatican.

Resources for Purchase

Year of Faith Resources, produced by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, to help promote at the parish level.

Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization

“Lineamenta” or preparatory document for the Oct 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization.

The Door of Faith - Study Guide

This is a 5-part study guide to Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Letter, Porta Fidei, announcing the Year of Faith. The Study Guide is specially designed for small group use, and contains five simple sessions with prayer, discussion questions, and the full text of Porta Fidei.

US Bishops Year of Faith Website

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Year of Faith website containing links and video clips related to this special year.

Various Vatican II Resources

Catholics will find the following Vatican II resources helpful as they strive to learn more about their faith.

Vatican issues recommendations for celebrating Year of Faith

Catholic News Service story about recommendations for celebrating the Year of Faith - January 5, 2012.

Vatican Year of Faith Website

The Year of Faith website established by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization which includes the Year of Faith logo, hymn and other materials. Click on “Annus Fidei.”

Ways to Live the Year of Faith with Young People

Ideas to help young people fully live the Year of Faith. Available in English and Spanish.
Cómo vivir el Año de la fe con la juventud.

Celebrate the Year of Faith with Archbishop Listecki

Year of Faith

The Catholic Church celebrates a Year of Faith!
This sacred time will be marked by evangelization efforts, catechetical opportunities, prayer experiences and liturgical celebrations.

Year of Faith Q & A

Questions and Answers about the Year of Faith as addressed on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website.

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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