It is time to breathe new life into our RCIA processes

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) image posted by TeamRCIAIf storytelling is the heart of evangelization, then how do I become a better storyteller?

If evangelization is the heart of the initiatory process, then what tools do I need to be a better evangelist?

If the key to evangelization is asking the right questions, then how do I craft the questions?

If liturgy is the primary context of the RCIA, how do I use the liturgy as a tool for mystagogical formation?

It seems like we’ve been doing RCIA forever

These are questions many of us have, even those of us who have been catechists in the initiation process for years. We have attended dozens of workshops, heard we are supposed to share our faith, tell our story, do conversion-centered catechesis, and be sure and use effective models of adult learning.

We have been told about the vision of the RCIA, the steps and what the rite intends. And still, it seems as though something is missing. Often, our catechumens just don’t seem to catch fire with the faith. Or if they do, the fire burns out soon after Easter Vigil.

Perhaps what has been missing in all those educational efforts is as essential to the art of catechesis as water is to fish. The fish may not notice the water, may even take it for granted, but drain the tank and the fish is flopping on the sand.

Perhaps it is time to discover the art of RCIA catechesis

To meet this challenge, TeamRCIA and I have created a catechist school that will focus on one thing — the actual craft of passing on the faith. You have probably already learned the science of catechesis. We are going to teach you the art of catechesis.

In this catechist school, we will present principles of good story telling and offer an opportunity for participants to tell their story and have it critiqued so as to become better at sharing an essential element in the art of catechesis.

We will use the best models available for adult learning, and we will teach you how to use those models in way that will make a more effective catechist in your parish.

We will help you recognize the gaps in faith that exist in the seekers and give you the skills you need to be an effective evangelist to nature and strengthen that faith.

If the key to evangelization is asking the right questions, then the catechist school will give you the opportunity to analyze what it takes to craft effective, conversion centered questions for us in their catechumenal sessions.

If liturgy is the primary context of the RCIA—if, as the RCIA assumes, liturgy is formative, then the catechist school will celebrate a liturgy and present the necessary tools for mystagogically unpacking that liturgy so that the liturgies celebrated in your parish not only will manifest the Risen Christ, but will also be an effective tool for learning and evangelization.

Invest in a hands-on learning opportunity

Not only will we show you how to use these tools, we will put them in your hands and have you practice with them. We will show you how to use them with inquirers and catechumens in ways that will change their lives—and yours.
It is time to breathe new life into our RCIA processes. I am inviting you to invest in two days to receive effective tools to put in your RCIA toolbox and thus return home to build and rebuild the most effective process of initiation for those who come seeking the living God within the walls of your parish family.

Learn more about the TeamRCIA Catechist School

See also these related articles:

  1. Why is mystagogical catechesis important in the RCIA?
  2. What is a catechist school?
  3. It is time to breathe new life into our RCIA processes

Kerri Lee Smith “A portrait of the artist” (Flickr)

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