Below are the diocesan and parish requirements to prepare for the reception of these sacraments:

RCIA/RCIC:

Anyone not baptized and over the age of 8 participates in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults), or the RCIC (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children).

  • Classes in English for adults are on Sundays at 10:15 a.m. following Mass.
  • Classes for Children and in Spanish for adults are on Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. following Mass.

The RCIA process includes four formation periods which prepare the participants to take part in the rites that conclude the first three periods:

  • Period One: Inquiry – a time of informal introduction to the Catholic community, its teaching, and traditions.
    • Rite One: Rite of Acceptance or Welcome – the inquirers are formally introduced to the parish community which accepts and welcomes them.
    • Rite Two: Rite of Election where the Bishop greets all catechumens at the Cathedral.
  • Period Two: Catechumenate – a lengthy period during which the participants gather weekly to discuss the gospel proclaimed in the Sunday readings and relate those truths to their daily lives. The RCIA team, and at times, the pastor, and other speakers assist the participants in their study of many facets of the Catholic faith.
  • Period Three: Purification and Enlightenment – a forty-day period which focuses on prayer and spiritual growth usually coinciding with Lent.
    • Rite Three: Initiation at Easter Vigil – where one is baptized, confirmed, and receives Holy Communion.
  • Period Four: Mystagogy – a seven week period of reflecting on the experience of initiation, the meaning of the sacraments, and the new members’ integration into the Catholic community. No rite formally concludes this period because it does not end. All adult Catholics are called to reflect upon and deepen their appreciation for the mysteries throughout their lives.
  • *** Eventually you will be asked to find a sponsor, someone of the Catholic faith to walk with you on the journey of becoming a Catholic. Also, you will have the opportunity to choose a confirmation name that is a Saint who you would like to imitate or is significant to your spiritual life.

Baptism:

  • For infants up to age 7, baptism is the decision of the parents. At least one parent is Catholic, but exceptions can be made as long as the adult promises to raise the child as Catholic. This means going to Mass at least every Sunday and assuring the child receives communion, and confirmation at the appropriate age. Adults who are not baptized please read the remarks for RCIA.
  • For Baptism the family needs to attend Mass at least four times at St. Teresa of Kolkata Catholic Church before beginning classes.
  • Classes are every 2nd and 4th Sunday after the 11:00 a.m. for Spanish Speakers. English speakers need to see Deacon Larry Rossini for private instructions.
  • If this is a first child or it has been several years since the last child was baptized, one needs to attend two to three classes. The classes involve a video review of the sacrament, scriptural significance of the baptism, and some further reflections on the rite.
  • All parents must attend a baptism preparation class. Godparents are also encouraged to attend here if they live nearby.
  • Godparents/Sponsors must be registered as a member in a Catholic parish. If you are a member of another parish, we need a letter stating that you are a member of that parish and have had baptismal preparation. This letter needs to arrive at least one week prior to the baptism.
  • Godparents can be married or single, but must be in good standing within the Catholic Church. This means they have made their communion and confirmation. Also, if it is a couple they must be married within the Catholic Church.

*** Exceptions may be made by the Pastor for significant reasons. For instance, if the couple is of two denominations, one Catholic and one another form of Christianity, an exception is possible.

First Communion / Holy Eucharist:

Any baptized Christian can prepare to receive Holy Communion. Yet, only Catholics in good standing can receive Holy Communion.

  • For any adults who are baptized Catholic but have not received their first communion, please see the Priest or Deacon for advice. Normally, you will be asked to join the RCIA classes, but you will also have individualized classes. You do not have to wait for any particular time. Once you are ready, you may make your first communion.
  • For any adults who are baptized in a different religion and desire communion, this means that you will become a Catholic. Normally you would participate in the RCIA classes as a "candidate" since most likely we will recognize your baptism in another church. It is accepted that one would make their confirmation at the same time. This is normally done at the Easter Vigil, but may be done at other significant feasts if appropriate. A letter stating when and where you were baptized from your former church is required. If this presents a challenge, there are other options possible. You will need to speak to the Priest or the Deacon.
  • Children may receive first communion if they are in the second grade or 8 years or older. They will also need to make their first reconciliation/penance/confession before this.
  • Proof of baptism in the Catholic Church is required at least four weeks prior to First Communion. The earlier the better.
  • Godparents are not required, but if desired, they must either be single or married in the Catholic Church. There are no exceptions to this policy.
  • All Children making first communion need to be enrolled in our faith formation program or attending classes at one of the Catholic Schools of Knoxville.

Confirmation:

Adults baptized in the Catholic Church are to be confirmed by the Bishop. There is a special confirmation Mass at the cathedral for them. They also can be confirmed with the other members of the parish.

Adults and youth baptized in other Christian denominations receive confirmation usually at the Easter Vigil since this is your entrance into the Catholic Faith. They will receive first communion that evening as well. They will attend classes as a "candidate" alongside the "catechumens" on Sunday morning at 10:15 a.m. They are also encouraged to attend the Wednesday night classes with Deacon Larry at 7 p.m.

Youth baptized in the Catholic Church may be confirmed if they are in the sixth grade or older. Proof of baptism is required. If they have made first communion, then that too needs to be demonstrated. Classes begin in the fall and end in May. Once confirmed, it is expected for the youth to continue with future faith formation and be a part of the youth group.

  • Sponsors need to be practicing Catholics in good standing.
  • Attendance at the confirmation retreat with parents, sponsors, and students is expected.
  • The date of confirmation is determined by the Bishop.

First Reconciliation (also known as Confession or Penance):

This is a private sacrament received prior to making one's first communion. Preparation is part of the RCIA/RCIC and first communion/confirmation preparation.

Marriage:

The sacrament of marriage is a deep blessing and St. Teresa of Kolkata Parish is willing to do whatever it can to assure a positive experience of this important sacrament.

  • The Sacrament of Marriage is between a man and a female.
  • If neither has been married before, at least one needs to be a Catholic.
  • A six month notification is required. Please schedule with the priest or deacon before setting a date or renting a hall.
  • Marriages are not usually scheduled during Advent and Lent.

All couples are required to attend marriage preparation sessions prior to the wedding.

The type of preparation depends on the circumstances. Normally it is at least six classes, once per month prior to marriage. We use a video, a guide book, and personal testimonies in helping the couple to be ready for the sacramental life together.

  • Couples that have been married before, but are widowed, will follow the same procedure as those never married.
  • Couples that are divorced but the former spouse is decease will follow the same procedure as those never married.
  • Couples that are divorced and the former spouse is still living are advised to see the priest or deacon to see what steps are needed to receive the sacrament of marriage. If an annulment is needed, the parish team will do their very best to walk with you through this challenging but potentially healing, process.

Anointing of Sick:

Call the office when needed. Anytime someone is facing a medical procedure that requires hospitalization, it is good to receive the sacrament. Several times during the year the sacrament is available after Mass.

Ordination/Vocation to brotherhood or sisterhood:

You may be called to priesthood, brotherhood or sisterhood. These vocations are needed in the church. Ordination to the priesthood or deaconate is a sacrament. The call to religious life, even through not a sacrament, is a precious calling.

  • If you are interested in priesthood, please speak with our pastor.
  • If you are interested in deaconate please speak with our deacon. A deacon must be a male, 35 years or older and a practicing Catholic. The diocese of Knoxville offers classes on a five year cycle.