The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is too often presented as an abstract ideal, detached from the actual parish settings in which it is implemented. This study takes the opposite approach. Based on data from participant observation and interviews, the authors tell real stories of the initiation process in five U.S. parishes. In doing so, they offer a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the RCIA process in each of the parishes. From these stories collectively they draw lessons for the RCIA as well as lessons from the RCIA for the church as a whole.Pastors, lay ministers, catechists, and directors of religious education, as well as those in seminaries and dioceses responsible for training them, will find this book helpful in realizing the full potential of the RCIA in general and in particular parish settings.David Yamane is assistant professor of sociology at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His interest in the RCIA grows out of his own experience of having been initiated as an adult in 1992.Sarah MacMillen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.Kelly Culver currently works for the Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP) at the University of Notre Dame.