Have you ever been curious about why Catholics believe what they do? Are you perplexed by the Mass? Are you an adult Catholic desiring to be Confirmed? Are you a non-Catholic engaged or married to a Catholic?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we welcome you to join the St. Mary’s & St. Raymond’s Becoming Catholic program (RCIA)!
RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults” and is a wonderful way to explore the Catholic Faith, regardless of where you are on your own journey. We are currently meeting every other Sunday from 9:45am-11:15am at St. Raymond’s. Following the 8:30am Mass at St. Raymond’s, we gather for lunch and class!
There’s no pressure, no fancy theological terms you need to know and no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Our RCIA process meets each person wherever they are on the journey!
To ask specific questions, contact Michael at MVanHemert@SMSRCatholic.com
If you’re interested in joining us, you are always welcome to pop by unannounced. However, if you complete this brief inquiry form, a member of our RCIA team will reach out to you to get to know you and answer any questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
When do classes meet? We meet every other Sunday at St. Mary Parish, immediately following the 11am Mass. After attending Mass together, we gather from Noon-1:30pm, beginning with lunch and social time, then moving to class time. Click here for the complete current schedule.
You can also feel free to join the RCIA Process at any point in the year. We’ll pair you up with an individual mentor who can get to know your story and help you make the next right steps depending your desire!
Where do you meet? St. Mary Parish in the Conference Room, or some refer to it as the library.
Who’s on the RCIA Team? There are others who aren’t on this list yet, but you can find pictures and biographies for most of the RCIA Core Team members by scrolling below!
How do I register? Click here for a brief inquiry form to begin the process! A member of our RCIA team will contact you to get to know your story and answer any of your initial questions. Of course, you’re always welcome to attend unannounced as well.
I’m not sure if I actually want to be Catholic… That’s just fine by us! Feel free to fill out the inquiry form and attend gatherings anyway! Filling out a form doesn’t commit you to anything. Each person is at a different place in their own spiritual journey, and this process is simply a place to ask your questions and search for answers together. If at any time you find that you are no longer interested in learning more, there’s no obligation to stay!
I definitely want to be Catholic. Do I still need to go through the process? Yes. A member of our team will meet with you individually to interview you and find out more about where you’re at in the process. Although we can certainly expedite you to the sacraments of initiation if we think it’s the best decision, we’ve also found that there is great value in going through the process for a few reasons. 1) You continue to learn. 2) You meet others who are on the journey. 3) There are dozens of special rites that take place along the way, and the graces you receive through those rites is an important part of the preparation process! Think of it like being engaged…even if you’re ready to be married, the engagement is a special time, too.
I’m already Catholic but I’m a fiance/spouse/sponsor. Should I still attend? Yes, absolutely! Your participation in the process is valuable, partly for you, but mostly for your support of the person who is going through this process.
I have a question, but it’s not answered here. Send me a quick e-mail, text or phone call! You can reach me (Michael) at MVanHemert@SMSRCatholic.com or at (715) 855-1294 ext 6507.
We work with an ongoing RCIA process, which basically means that people are welcome to join us at any time! Not everything is offered at every time, but there’s no “waiting period” if someone is interested in RCIA. They can simply join the group!
Fr. Derek Sakowski is pastor of St. Raymond’s and St. Mary’s. A native of Wisconsin Rapids, he attended seminary in Saint Paul, Washington, D.C., and Columbus. After ordination in 2003, he taught high school for 5 years in Stevens Point, studied in Rome for four years, attained a Doctorate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He is also chaplain to the Hispanic Community of the Chippewa Valley.
Joshua Cooley is a native of the Chippewa Valley. He makes a living as an instructor of Information Technology at CVTC, but his real passion is history, as well as the writings of G.K. Chesterton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis. A convert himself, he brings a scholarly perspective to the RCIA team and hasn’t really been stumped with a question yet! You can reach him at email@example.com.
Teresa Miniatt has been Catholic all her life. Her passion for lifelong learning led her to obtain a BA in Theology from Franciscan University. To this day, she still looks to her professors, Dr. Sirilla, Dr. Bergsma, and Dr. Hahn as her main sources of inspiration and wisdom (besides the Bible and Catechism). She can be reached at ClassicL89@aol.com.
Michael Van Hemert spent his high school years in a Bible-believing Baptist church, was heavily involved in Intervarsity during college, graduated with a World Religious Studies degree and later served 2 years as Youth Director for a Baptist Church. Through years of personal study and two times through the St. Mary’s/St. Raymond’s RCIA process, he became convinced of the biblical evidence pointing toward Orthodoxy. He is currently the Director of Pastoral Ministry for St. Mary and St. Raymond Parishes. You can reach him at MVanHemert@SMSRCatholic.com