Second Stage: The Catechumenate
This is by far the longest and most formal part of the process. During this phase the catechumen is expected to participate with the whole Catholic community in their Sunday celebrations. The catechumen participates by sharing in the Liturgy of the Word. Through prayer, learning and coming to know other Catholic Christians, catechumens discover the love and power of God in their lives and in the church. This phase is meant to be one not only of intellectual and faith formation, but also one of great delight and opportunity to contribute to and benefit from the parish community. The focus clearly is on a conversion of heart, through prayer and good works, but also of conversion of the mind, in which we start to see through the eyes of God, to think, perceive and act as Christ desires. During this time, catechumens receive annointings, participate in prayers of exorcism and blessings, which assists this conversion.
Second Ritual Step:
The "Rite of Election" is an acknowledgment on behalf of the priest, the RCIA team, and the sponsors, that the catechumen is adequately formed and ready to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a formal acceptance on behalf of the Church.The catechumen too, formally declares that he / she has believed and accepted all that was presented to them during the Catechumenate. This is a formal declaration that it is their desire to become a fully active participant within the Catholic faith community. This Rite takes place during the first Sunday of Lent and from this time, until they are baptised, the catechumens are called the elect.