RCIA Offers a Life of Faith
Twenty St. John's University students made their commitment to a life of faith by receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at St. Thomas More Church on Sunday, April 27. It was an uplifting conclusion to eight months of study and reflection through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
Focusing on prayer, study, and reflection, the RCIA process welcomes non-Catholics, as well as Catholics, who may not have received some of the sacraments as children. Participants received the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist—at the 5:30 p.m. student mass. Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of the Diocese of Brooklyn presided at the liturgy.
"RCIA has been one of the most spiritually enriching experiences for me," said Jordan Bouchard '14C. "I have worked on my faith throughout my time here at SJU, and I can't think of a better way to bring all of my experiences together than by becoming a full member of the Catholic Church."
Staten Island student Tankia Weldon '15C, observed, "Completing the RCIA experience means the world to me. To carry this faith with me for the rest of my life is very meaningful. I had a great time learning and meeting new friends."
Anthony Ray '15TCB said, "The RCIA experience has been extremely satisfying. It strengthened my spiritual connections with God, family, and friends. Receiving the sacraments has given my spirituality a permanent home."
The RCIA process at St. John’s begins every September and continues through Easter. Students gather each week to study all aspects of the Catholic faith. "Witnessing this liturgy is such an inspirational moment for me," noted Dennis Gallagher, director of RCIA and director of Liturgy and Faith Formation. "It celebrates and renews the faith of everyone in attendance. It is a wonderful reminder of the beauty of community and how it reflects the generosity and love of God."
Sixteen students from the Queens campus received the sacraments: Jordan Bouchard '14C, Hva Yong Jack Chen '14G, Joseph Chung '14G, Dilenia Contreras '15CPS, Olivia Foley '14CPS, Tiffany Hernandez '15CPS, Jackie Herro '14CPS, Casey Krygier '15CPS, Alexandra Moorman '16C, Lizsandra Pena '15CPS, Sahony Ramos '14CPS, Anthony Ray '15TCB, Juliet Rojas '17C, Emily Marie Schmidt '16TCB, Natalie Slater '15C, and Nelsi Torres '14CPS. Four students from the Staten Island campus received the sacraments: Jean Paul Murphy '15CPS, Stephanie Barbarino '15C, Michelle Ly '17C, and Tankia Weldon '15C.
For more information about joining the RCIA program for 2014-2015, please contact Dennis Gallagher at 718-990-2125; firstname.lastname@example.org.