The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process through which the Catholic Church welcomes new adult members. It has its roots in the history of the early church and is designed for adults of other faith backgrounds or those with little or no previous faith experiences.

This journey of faith includes the study of Catholic beliefs, faith sharing, and the study of sacred scripture. Our weekly meetings involve discussion, questions, and teachings. We also encourage those involved to keep a journal of their own faith journey. At St. Francis of Assisi Parish this process begins in the Fall after Labor Day. We meet on Sundays in the conference room in St. Francis of Assisi School.

As the RCIA process continues, those who feel called to continue participate in the Rite of Acceptance. At one of the weekend liturgies they declare their intent to respond to God’s call and follow the way of Christ.

On the first Sunday of Lent, those who will be called to the Easter Sacraments of Initiation, participate in the Rite OF Election. This also occurs at one of the weekend liturgies at St. Francis. Later, on that same day, they participate in the Rite of Election at St. Joseph’s Cathedral and are presented to the Bishop. Here they have the opportunity to meet others involved in the RCIA at other parishes throughout the Diocese.

During Lent these now catechumens and candidates receive special prayers and blessings. They are presented with the Nicene Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. Their preparation intensifies. All of this culminates at the Easter Vigil with their receiving of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.  

Since 1994 our parish has welcomed over 100 new Catholics! The RCIA process continues as we meet through Pentecost. This period is called “mystagogy” and helps guide our new Catholics or “neophytes” in their early days in our parish.

For more information, please contact the Parish Office, or email Avis Flagg at arflagg@comcast.net.


The RCIA has been an active ministry at St. Francis since 1992.  Prior to 1993, the program was led by the Pastor.  Today our parish team consists of lay people of varying backgrounds along with the spiritual guidance of Father Jeff and Deacon John.

Avis Flagg is the Coordinator of this program here at St. Francis.  Avis was welcomed into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil at St. Francis of Assisi in Manchester on April 9,1993.  She has served as team member, co-coordinator, and coordinator since the Fall of 1993.  Avis has also coordinated “The Giving Tree Program” from 1992-2003.  She has been a teacher at Vacation Bible School.  She currently serves as a Eucharistic Minister at weekend liturgies.

Jan Marcouillier has been a member of the RCIA team since 1993, serving as co-coordinator from 1993-1997.  She returned to this ministry in 2007.  As a member of St. Francis Parish for over thirty years, Jan has worked on numerous parish committees including the Parish Council, Arts and Environment, and Religious Education.  She is a Eucharistic Minister.

Susan Koester joined the RCIA Team in the Fall of 2010.  She has been a member of this Parish since 2008.  Currently, Susan serves as the Finance Committee Chairperson and is a Eucharistic Minister.

Rich Flagg joined the RCIA Team in 2011.  He was raised in the Catholic Faith and served as an altar boy in his home parish.  He also taught Religious Education while in college.  At St. Francis Rich was a member of the choir for 15 years.  He also serves as a Eucharistic Minister.

zwu1xbf6h8wwc2yvzwoejcm2oul.JPGRCIA team (missing: Avis Flagg), January 2016