The Sacramental Theology of the
Rite of Christian Initiation in Adults (RCIA)

crosslisted as DL9111C

Rev. Dr Elio Capra SDB
Semester 2, 2020
Tuesday 10.00am – 1.00pm
This unit presumes a knowledge of and some experience in the implementation of the RCIA. It aims at deepening and broadening the understanding of the RCIA by studying the theology underpinning the Rite. The unit will explore the following topics: the role of Jesus and the role of the Trinity in the RCIA process; the theology of conversion; the meaning and praxis of catechesis; the theology and the historical development of the sacraments of initiation; the role of the word of God in the process of conversion; the theology of Church and of communion; the theology of ministry and of ministers of the RCIA; the theology and the relationship of the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist; mystagogia as commitment, communion and mission. 

Census Date

Tuesday 18 August 




face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


  • one 2,500-word essay 40%
  • one 4,500-word essay 60% 

Set Text Recommended for Purchase

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Sydney: E. J. Dwyer, 1987.


  • Capra, Elio. Called Gifted Sent: The Sacraments of Christian Initiation and the Triduum. Melbourne: James Goold House, 2010.
  • ———. Come and See: Resources for the Precatechumenate. Thornbury: Des Books, 2004.
  • Irwin, Kevin W. The Sacraments: Historical Foundations and Liturgical Theology. New York: Paulist, 2016.
  • Marchal, Michael H. The Spirit at Work: Conversion and the RCIA. Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications, 2010.
  • Radcliffe, Timothy. Take the Plunge: Living Baptism and Confirmation. London: Bloomsbury, 2012.
  • Turner, Paul. Celebrating Initiation: A Guide for Priests. Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications, 2007.
  • ———. The Hallelujah Highway: A History of the Catechumenate. Chicago: Liturgical Training, 2000.
  • Wagner, Nick. The Way of Faith: A Field Guide for the RCIA Process. London: Twenty Third, 2010.
  • Yarnold, Edward. The Awe Inspiring Rites of Initiation: The Origins of the RCIA. 2nd ed. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1994.
  • Yamane, David. Becoming Catholic: Finding Rome in the American Religious Landscape. London: Oxford University Press, 2014.