Adults who have not been baptized, but would like to be, go through a process called the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). Sometimes we also call this the Catechumenate.
The person will go through several phases. The first is called Inquiry. It's a time when folks can come together just to get more information about the church. There are lots of opportunites to ask questions.
As a person goes through Inquiry, they may become convinced that they do indeed want to be baptized into the Catholic Faith. Once that decision has been made, they go through a liturgical rite called the Rite of Welcome.
Following the Rite of Welcome, the person officially becomes a Catechumen. Some people remain Catechumens for several years. However, most people are Catechumens for about a year.
As the season of Lent approaches, the Catechumens need to decide if they would like to be baptized the coming Easter, or if they want to wait. If they are ready to be baptized, they go through two additional Rites - the Rite of Sending and the Rite of Election.
Following these Rites the Catechumens become the Elect - those whom God has chosen for Baptism.
Lent is almost like a 40 day retreat for the Elect, who will be baptized, confirmed and make First Ecuharist at the Easter Vigil.
Following their reception of those three sacraments, the Elect are called neophytes - they are the brand new members of our church! There will still be sessions and gatherings for the neophytes to help them grow both in their faith and in the community of the faithful.