In an uplifting conclusion to eight months of study and reflection
through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) at St.
John's University, 19 students made their commitment to a life of
faith by receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at St. Thomas More
Church on Sunday, April 7.
Participants received the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism,
Confirmation and Eucharist—at the 5:30 p.m. Student Mass. Auxiliary
Bishop Octavio Cisneros of Brooklyn presided at the liturgy.
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.
Fifteen students from the Queens campus received the sacraments:
Evonna Azim, Sean Campbell, Najaah Daniels, Marquise Jimenez, Sarah
Khan, Erica Marxuach, Elizabeth McCarthy, Lucy Morales, Christian
Palaguachi, David Phu, Lauren Prairrie, Andrea Reddy, Kirstie
Valverde, Ziyan Wang, Ning Oliver Zhao. Four students from the
Staten Island campus include: Chad Cassity, Chelsie Green, Gladys
Roque and Brittni Sellers.
Commenting on the RCIA process, Ziyan Wang stated, "It was amazing!
I have learned that God is always with you, no matter what you are
going through. As long as you have faith, God will always show you
a way out."
"The R.C.I.A. program helped me regain my faith and belief in God
when I was ready to give up," said Najaah Daniels. "I will never
forget this experience." According to David Phu, "R.C.I.A. is a
remarkable journey that gave the support, knowledge and empowerment
to fully bear witness to the new Catholic faith I have accepted in
spirit, word and deed." Sean Campbell added, "Now I can walk into
church with confidence, not afraid to be the lone wolf sitting out
Eucharist; I can pray grace at family dinners with pride and
The RCIA process at St. John's begins in September and continues
through Easter. Students gather each week to study the catechism,
Bible, sacraments, Catholic social teachings, saints, prayer, faith
sharing and more. Supported by our community of faith, RCIA members
begin to understand the importance of community and relationships
as they grow in their understanding of God. "Witnessing this
liturgy is such an inspirational moment for me," noted Dennis
Gallagher, Director of RCIA and Campus Minister for 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."
For more information about joining the RCIA program for 2013-2014,
please contact Dennis Gallagher at (718)