First Period: Inquiry (Precatechumenate)

The first period is called inquiry or the precatechumenate. During this period, inquirers form relationships with one another and with other catechists. The sessions are informal and often centre upon the life stories that have led each member there with questions such as: 

  • What is faith?
  • Who is God, and why does God care about me?
  • How does the Church understand the Bible and the sacraments?
  • What are the roles of Mary and the Pope?
  • Why are there statues in Catholic churches?

Each inquirer will examine the Church and the ways in which its members worship together and live in the Christian faith. First impressions of the parish and of all involved are very important. The period culminates in the inquirer's decision to enter the catechumenate, the period of formal preparation for entrance into full membership in the Catholic Church.1


1 Evangelization and Precatechumenate (Inquiry), Journey of Faith for Adults Leader Guide, Inquiry, Liguori Publications, 2016; p. 6.

Period of Inquiry

Rite of Acceptance (Catechumens)

Rite of Welcoming


Rite of Election

Purification and Enlightenment

The Scrutinies

Easter Vigil


Becoming Catholic