You're not alone! Each year many thousands of men and women from all backgrounds and all walks of life, enter into the Catholic Church.  They followed an exciting and joyful path of discovery and discernment on the spiritual journey into the heart of Catholicism.

Holy Cross Family of Parishes is here to walk this journey with you and welcome you.  We invite you to learn more about the Catholic faith through The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA).  This program was previously known as (RCIA) Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Through prayer, study and conversation, the OCIA helps individuals come to the truth of the Catholic faith. However, the OCIA is not simply a class or program. It is a process of conversion. It is a journey through the faith that seeks to discover the purpose for our lives, foster community, and create a life-long love for Jesus Christ.

Find where to begin your journey to a dedicated life with Christ

I'm An Unbaptized Adult or Child

This journey consists of preparing for three Sacraments of Initiation - Baptism, Confirmation, & Holy Eucharist. The candidate will attend weekly sessions beginning in September up to the Easter Vigil, where they will receive the Sacraments of Initiation. Special arrangements are made for children.

Ministry Instructions

I'm Previously Baptized In Another Christian Faith

This journey is for those who desire full communion with the Catholic Church through a profession of faith and reception of the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. The process begins with a conversation with a coordinator to determine the appropriate path. It will involve a series of weekly sessions, approximately 8-10 weeks.

Ministry Instructions

I'm A Baptized Catholic, But Have Not Continued My Faith

This journey is for individuals who are seeking to renew their life in the Church by receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation and/or the Holy Eucharist. The process begins with a conversation with a coordinator to determine the appropriate path. It will involve a series of weekly sessions, approximately 8-10 weeks.

Ministry Instructions
Order of Christian Initiation of adults image
Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA)

OCIA is the process by which those who wish to explore the Catholic faith are welcomed and introduced to the beliefs and practices of the Church. We will help you form a deeper relationship with God the Father, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit through our study and conversations. We will study the Bible, the Sacraments, the Ten Commandments, the Mass and so much more.

The process usually takes less than a year.   The program begins in September and continues through the Easter Vigil.  It is a series of sessions and gatherings to prepare adults who desire to learn about the Catholic faith.

The program consists of four stages of formation:
  • Period of Inquiry (Pre-catechumenate) - A time of learning and discernment.  Ends in December with the Rite of Acceptance for the unbaptized and the Rite of Welcoming for the baptized. 
  • Period  of Catechumenate - A time when the instruction provides a more in-depth focus on the doctrines of the Catholic faith.  This period ends at the beginning of Lent with the Rite of Sending and the Rite of Election.
  • Period of Purification & Enlightenment - Coincides with the season of Lent.  It is a time of more intense spiritual preparation.  A series of rites is celebrated on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent. This stage culminates at the Easter Vigil liturgy when those preparing receive the Sacraments of Initiation.  
  • Period of Mystagogy - A Greek word meaning  "leading into the mysteries".  This final stage takes place from Easter thru Pentecost.  The newly initiated begin their lifelong pilgrimage of growth as the mysteries of their faith unfold.

While the call to conversion is one that lasts a lifetime, the process for becoming Catholic through the OCIA is usually less than a year, in most cases. The process begins in September and culminates with the Easter Vigil.

There is no charge and all materials are provided for you.
  • Those who have never been baptized as Christians.  
  • Those baptized in another Christian faith tradition who are now interested in the Catholic tradition.  
  • Those baptized in the Catholic tradition whose total formation has never been completed and are seeking to renew their life in the Church.

  1. Day and time for sessions varies from group to group. We strive to accommodate anyone who wants to become Catholic by working with family schedules. 
  2. Weekly meetings, lasting approximately one to one and one-half hours, take place in either the parish office in Coldwater or the Library at Mary Help of Christians, in Fort Recovery.
There will also be various rites which will be celebrated on some Sundays throughout the year.  It is also possible to make other arrangements for individuals who cannot meet at this time due to schedule. We don’t want anyone to miss out on this journey simply because of a scheduling conflict.

The weekly sessions cover a broad range of topics because the Catholic faith encompasses the whole fabric of our lives. Topics include (but not limited to):
- God
- The Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
- The Person of Jesus Christ
- The Bible
- Human Nature
- The Church, Her Structure and Mission
- The Sacraments of the Church
- Prayer
- Worship and Liturgy
- Mary and the Saints
- Conscience and Moral Decision Making

There is no obligation to make any kind of commitment nor is there any pressure exerted on anyone to become a Catholic. If, after beginning the process, an individual decides to discontinue, we will be supportive and respectful of his/her decision.

Our hope is that through this process, you will gain a deeper understanding of Catholic beliefs and practices, while growing in your relationship with God.

If you decide you would like to further explore the Catholic faith through OCIA or you have questions or concerns, please contact Cindy Muhlenkamp at or by calling the Coldwater parish office 419-678-4802.  or Ginny Fortkamp at or call her at 419-852-8960

You may also fill out the online form and someone will be in touch with you to further answer your questions or discuss details of the process.