Download and read the PDF article titled: To the Threshold and to the Fullness: What Is the RCIA Supposed to Be? to read a general introduction to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
A quote from the above article:
“The intention of the following paragraphs is to open a discussion on the nature of catechumenal ministry – that work of God and his people which seeks to invite and initiate new members into the Mystical Body of Christ… In this article, the RCIA process will be examined from three distinct aspects: liturgical, catechetical, and pastoral. It is useful to discuss the nature and scope of each period of the process in light of these three aspects. All three are equally important. It is an injustice to those considering or seeking union with Holy Mother Church to be unambiguously catechetical to the detriment of the liturgical aspect, or be wonderfully pastoral despite poor catechesis. In order for the catechumenate to be what it has the potential to be, RCIA leaders can benefit greatly from understanding the implications of its liturgical, catechetical, and pastoral dimensions to make available the fullness of the process as intended by the Church.”