There’s a real beauty to being raised in the Catholic Church and continuing to practice the faith into adulthood. But there is also beauty in finding the Catholic faith as an adult and going through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process, or RCIA. Here in our parishes, RCIA is a flexible process, intended to meet people where they are. RCIA classes recently began and will go through Easter Vigil 2024. Classes are held at St. James from 7 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday.
Kim Barbour — starting her fourth year as RCIA Director — and our catechists are genuinely there for participants and work to be as supportive as possible. Kim thought, after becoming Catholic, that she’d go through the program again to learn more about the faith. But God had other plans, and she moved into the Assistant Director and Director roles.
“It’s such a surprise that I’m leading this program,” says Kim, who entered into the Catholic faith in 2019. “It’s really a surprise that I’m Catholic at all.”
Kim and her husband, John — a cradle Catholic — have moved many times. When the couple moved to Bartlesville, they decided to do what they had done in many former homes — check out the churches.
“I always looked at all the churches, except the Catholic Churches,” Kim says. But John convinced Kim that it was time to check out the Catholic Church, even though she had many preconceptions. When she finally attended her first RCIA class, she still questioned why she was there. Kim, who had been raised in the Episcopalian church, admits her mantra had always been “anything but Catholic.”
“There were always questions I had of the Episcopal church that I felt I had never answered,” she says. “I found those answers here.”
When Kim looks back, she can see the Holy Spirit has been working her whole life to bring her to the Catholic Church.
“When I finally came to the Church, all the puzzle pieces came together,” Kim says.
All are invited to walk a journey to learning more or becoming Catholic. The RCIA process is meant to be flexible. People can start at any time in the year, and Kim — along with the priests, deacons and catechists — will meet people where they are to get them to the next step.
“Each journey is so unique,” Kim says. “They don’t all follow a calendar.”
Kim looks around at the outside world and sees so much despair and depression. She knows if more people found Jesus, we’d be in a much better place. She hopes that everyone can come to know Christ and feels blessed to offer religious instruction through RCIA.
One place Kim hopes to fill is the ministry of RCIA sponsors. Sponsors accompany the “seekers,” those going through RCIA. The sponsors don’t need to know everything about the faith, but need to be in good standing with the Church and have a desire to help.
Though all of the classes are a blessing, Kim most enjoys the excitement of the Easter Vigil. It’s a blessing watching everyone take the big step to enter the Church.
All are invited, Catholic or not, to attend RCIA classes. Kim wants everyone to know they can come.
“If you know someone searching, direct them here — bring them anytime to RCIA,” Kim says.
For more information about RCIA, contact Kim Barbour at firstname.lastname@example.org.