The Season of preparation, including four Sundays, leading up to Christmas. It has a twofold theme: preparing for the Second Coming of Christ, and preparing for the celebration of the Birth of Jesus

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB)

The assembly of all bishops in Canada; they are responsible for the translation and publication of all of our ritual texts, including the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (1987).


One who is already Baptized in another Christian faith and who now is preparing to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church. At the time of full reception, he or she will make a profession of faith, be Confirmed and receive the Eucharist.

In the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, "candidate" is also used for those participating in the precatechumenate (baptized and unbaptized).

Catechetical Age

Normally seven years of age and older.


One who is not Baptized and is preparing for full initiation at the Easter Vigil through Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist


The second period of the order of Christian initiation of adults which involves intense preparation in word, worship, community life and apostolic works


The order of Christian initiation adapted for children has as its foundation the adult rite. Adaptations of the rites have been developed for use with children of catechetical age.


This term is rarely used. "Convert" should never be used to refer to a baptized person who is preparing to become a Catholic. Rather, we are moving to an ever deeper appreciation that all are called to conversion. Conversion is a journey, not a destination; it is never "over and done with." Conversion is a movement that God is gradually accomplishing in us.

Cycles A, B, C

The three-year cycle of liturgical readings. Cycle A: Matthew; Cycle B: Mark; Cycle C: Luke; all three cycles incorporate John

Easter Season

A period of 50 days beginning with Easter Sunday and ending with the Feast of Pentecost


The name given to catechumens who celebrate the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent, signifying their having been chosen for the initiation sacraments


The reason for which the Church exists; the task of the Church during the precatechumenate which involves the inviting, the welcoming, the witness, the sharing of faith and the initial proclamation of the Gospel.

"Four Pillars" of the Catechumenate

  • Word
  • Worship
  • Community
  • Service


Those who are "inquiring" into Christianity in the Catholic tradition. The Period of Inquiry is also called "Pre-Catechumenate."


The book used in liturgical celebrations that contains all the readings of the Mass.


A 40-day period extending from Ash Wednesday to sundown on Holy Thursday. It is a retreat time in preparation for the Easter Triduum.

Liturgical Year

The seasons and cycles of the Christian Year. It is the instrument and means for leading God's people along the way to the Lord. The readings introduce and invite us into the Paschal Mystery.

Minor Rites

Rites during the period of the Catechumenate, which include exorcisms, blessings and anointings.

Mystagogical Reflection

Reflection on any experience in the Christian life, intended to put one's own personal story into dialogue with the story of Jesus Christ and of the Christian community


The final period of the order of Christian Initiation of Adults this is from Easter until Pentecost


One who is initiated at the Easter Vigil. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "new plant," as in a new sprout on a limb or branch.

Ordinary Time

Cycle within the Liturgical Year that is outside the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter. This time provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of God's gift to us in Christ, our attitudes, our prayer life and our service to others.


The first period of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is the introduction of an inquirer into the Christian way of life in the Catholic Tradition. It is also the period of evangelization on the part of the Church.


During the Period of Purification and Enlightenment, the Elect are presented with the Creed and the Lord's Prayer through special rites. Both presentations can be anticipated in the period of the Catechumenate if this is more convenient or appropriate.

Purification and Enlightenment

This is the third period of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is the final period of preparation for initiation at the Easter Vigil, and is characterized by prayerful reflection.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Acronym for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, the English title for the Ordo initiationis christianae adultorum. The Canadian text was published in 1987.

Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens

The "step," or "bridge," the ritual that marks the movement from the precatechumenate and the catechumenate for the unbaptized.

Rite of Welcome

The "step" or "bridge," the ritual that marks the movement from the inquiry period and the period of pastoral formation that coincides with the catechumenate for baptized but uncatechized persons.

Rite of Election

The "step" or "bridge," the ritual that marks the movement from the Catechumenate into the final period of preparation before initiation, the Period of Purification and Enlightenment. It is usually presided over by the Arch/Bishop.

Rite of Calling to Lenten Renewal

This coincides with Election, but is celebrated for those already baptized.

Sacraments of Initiation

Usually celebrated at the Easter Vigil, these include Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.


Three rites of exorcism for the Elect during Lent, on the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays.


The first day in the Christian liturgical week, the original feast day, the heart of the liturgical calendar, the basis and nucleus of the liturgical year.


The "great three days" of the celebration of Easter this begins with sundown on Holy Thursday evening and ends with evening prayer on Easter Sunday evening. Includes the liturgies of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.

Contact Us

Office of Evengelization & Catechesis

Pastoral Center

200 Military Road

P.O. Box 37

St. John’s, NL A1C 5H5

Tel: (709) 726-3660

Fax: (709) 726-8021

Director of Adult Faith Formation

Ms. Anne Walsh

Tel: (709) 726-3660 | Ext 233


Director of Catechesis

Mr. Ed Connolly 

Tel: (709) 726-3660 | Ext 247


Youth Ministry

Ms. Sara Brodercik

Tel: (709) 726-3660 | Ext 248


Administrative Assistant

Mrs. Mary Lou Sweetapple 

Tel: (709) 726-3660 | Ext 280