The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process by which adults and children of catechetical age enter a multi-stage process by which they become fully initiated into the Catholic Church, being welcomed during the Easter Vigil and receive and sacraments of baptism, eucharist and confirmation.
A rite re-introduced as a result of the Second Vatican Council, RCIA consists of various periods of preparation, each marked by the celebration of a rite, which became effective and mandatory for all dioceses in the Church as of September 1, 1988. It brings to the celebration of the RICA the periods and times of reflection and study originally used in the church from time immemorial wherein the church welcomes new members as a result of periods of study and reflection upo the Word, Sacred Scripture. As a catechumen (those who receive all three sacraments of initiation) or as a candidate (those baptized Christians who are brought into full communion with the Church) the fullness of the faith as found in scripture is presented by other members o fthe parish in a truly meaningful way.
For those seeking more information as to the Process of the RCIA, see TeamRCIA.com.