The RCIA always begins in the fall with what is called an "inquiry session". This is a time when interested people may come and find out what the program is all about. It is also a time for them to ask questions and learn about the process. The purpose of the RCIA is to help focus one's faith on Jesus Christ and how we come to know Him in prayer, the liturgy and sacraments of the Church, and in the Word.
The RCIA always begins in the fall and ends at the Easter Vigil, when the appropriate sacraments of initiation are given.
The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults is a special program geared for adults who wish to be initiated into the Catholic Church. The program works with three groups of adults: 1) those who have never been baptized and are seeking a home in the Catholic Church; 2) those who may have been baptized in other faiths and now wish to convert to the Catholic faith; 3) those who were baptized Catholic but for whatever reason never received the other sacraments of initiation (Holy Communion and Confirmation).