INSTRUCTIONS IN THE FAITH: The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) program is offered for those interested in becoming Catholic or learning more about the Catholic Faith. This program is ongoing throughout the year. For more information, please call the rectory or Faith Formation Office.

The 2014 Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RICA) to begin program in Fall  RICA is the program for those adults interested in becoming Catholic and/or wishing to explore the Catholic Faith. The program will be begin soon after Labor Day and run thru Holy Week. The program is part of Cluster Parishes. For those who might be interested and for those parishioners who might know of someone who might be interested please get into contact with Deacon Rich at 412-951-6384 or ralongo@live.com

Please click the link below to view the 12 page RCIA Overview Document:


For additional information please click the link below for the RCIA post:



RCIA & The Meaning of the Scrutinies

By Deacon Rich Longo

Tell people they’ll face a scrutiny before they can join an organization or some form of membership, and they’ll probably say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” Yet boldly our Church expects not one but three scrutinies of Catechumens before their Baptism at Easter. Catechumens are those who will receive Baptism along with the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation (The Sacraments of Initiation) at the Easter Vigil. Scrutinies are rites of self-searching and repentance. When people from another spiritual background seek baptism in the Catholic Church, they do so by stages. First we accept them into the order of Catechumens. Then as they complete their catechetical formation we enroll them among the “Elect”, or those chosen for Baptism. This Rite of Election generally coincides with the beginning of Lent. Three times during Lent the church prays the scrutinies to encourage a spirit of repentance among those who seek a worthy celebration of Baptism.

Although scrutinies have returned fairly recently to Catholic parishes, they originated early in church history. St. Ambrose and St. Augustine celebrated them in the fourth and fifth century to mark the spiritual progress of the Catechumens. The moral preparation of Catechumens included prayers of exorcism, to drive out the spirit of evil which kept them from embracing Christ as their light. In the scrutinies the church discerned if those exorcisms had achieved their effect. Catechumens entered the church, stood barefoot on goatskin, and renounced evil influences all night. Those unworthy of Baptism had to wait another year for Easter to roll around again.

Today’s scrutinies are less intense. They still include an exorcism, in which the Priest or Deacon prays that the spirit of evil may be replaced by the spirit of good. Their purpose is not so much to examine the candidates’ mental readiness, but their spiritual readiness. Scrutinies offer the Catechumens the support they need to approach the waters of baptism worthily. For those who are already baptized, the scrutinies invite us to embrace the same spirit of self-searching and repentance. At Easter we renew our baptismal promises as we see the Catechumens baptized. So during Lent we renew our repentance as we see the Catechumens scrutinized. The scrutinies remind us of the seriousness of our Christian life and inspire us to turn from evil and pursue good. They enliven our recommitment to Christ at Easter. Following the Rite of Election which is held on the First Sunday of Lent and when the Bishop calls the Catechumens and Candidates to the Church (however due to the Bishop’s schedule this year it will be held on March 3rd the Third Sunday in Lent) there are three Scrutinies offered. The First Scrutiny is held on the Third Sunday in Lent. The Second Scrutiny on the Fourth Sunday in lent and the Third Scrutiny on the Fifth Sunday in Lent.