The Sacramental Theology of the Rites
of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

crosslisted as DL2111C/3111C

Rev. Dr Elio Capra SDB
Semester 2, 2020
Tuesday 10.00am – 1.00pm
This unit presumes 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 


  • second level: CT1100C and CT1110C are strongly recommended
  • third level: two Systematic Theology units at level two


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


second level
  • one 750-word essay 20%
  • one 2,500-word essay 60%
  • one 1-hour written examination (1,000 words) 20%
third level
  • one 1,000-word essay 20%
  • one 3,000-word essay 60%
  • one 1-hour written examination (1,000 words) 20%


  • 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.
  • Radcliffe, Timothy. Take the Plunge: Living Baptism and Confirmation. London: Bloomsbury, 2012.
  • Turner, Paul. Celebrating Initiation: A Guide for Priests. Foundation of Life. Franklin Park, IL: World Library Publications, 2007.
  • ———. The Hallelujah Highway: A History of the Catechumenate. Chicago: Liturgical Training Publications, 2000.
  • Wagner, Nick. The Way of Faith: A Field Guide for the RCIA Process. New London: Twenty-Third, 2010.
  • Yarnold, Edward. The Awe Inspiring Rites of Initiation: The Origins of the RCIA. 2nd ed. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1994.