1. Inquiry or Pre-Catechumenate:
At this time participants are encouraged to ask questions and to explore the basic tenets of the Catholic faith and to reflect upon these in light of their own life experiences.
2. The Catechumenate:
It is during this time that most of study of Scripture, doctrine, traditions and meeting with the community takes place.
3. Purification and Enlightenment:
For those preparing for baptism, this stage takes place during the season of Lent where they reflect upon their own faith experiences in a more intense, prayerful way. At other times during the year, baptized candidates reflect more deeply upon the meaning of their baptism and celebrate the Sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation.
4. Sacraments of Initiation
Candidates for baptism celebrate their initiation into the Church on the holiest of nights–the Easter Vigil — where they are baptized, confirmed and receive Holy Eucharist. Candidates for full communion celebrate their Rite of Reception several other times throughout the year.
This is a time for candidates to reflect upon their experiences of being new Catholic Christians and to find their place in the ordinary life of the Church.