If you have been reading the training articles on TeamRCIA for very long, you know that the RCIA is the model for all catechesis. But does the rest of the parish know?
Who needs to know this stuff?
You might consider “evangelizing” other catechetical teams in your parish to begin using the six principles of the RCIA in their formation processes. Some typical parish formation processes that would benefit from using these principles include:
- Infant baptism preparation
- Confirmation preparation
- First Reconciliation preparation
- First Communion preparation
- Marriage preparation
- Children’s catechetical formation
- Youth group formation
- Parish council formation
- Vocation discernment
- Adult faith formation
That’s a long list, and it might seem exhausting to think of trying to convert all those teams and processes to a new way of doing things when you can barely keep your head above water with your current responsibilities. But starting on the first steps to change doesn’t have to be hard. And you don’t have to do everything at once.
Where to start?
You can start with one group on the list above. You may already be on one of the formation teams listed above. If so, start there.
Your best friend or your spouse might be on one of those teams. That’s another place to start.
Or think of the team or teams that are most closely linked to the RCIA process. For example, many couples in marriage preparation are also in an RCIA process. So you might start with the marriage preparation team.
First we listen
Once you have your starting place chosen, your next step is to simply listen. You can use an adapted version of the five discernment questions we recommend for inquiry to discover the needs of the team you want to influence. Or you can use your own active listening techniques. However you do it, your goal is to discover the needs of the person you are listening to instead of trying to, right at the start, teach them something new.
It will help if when you set up a time to listen to your colleagues, you are deeply familiar with the six principles of the RCIA process yourself. We just finished doing a series of webinars in which we explored each of the six principles. You can also listen to this free 20-minute podcast to brush up. Or you can watch this six-minute video.
A simple suggestion
Finally, if the moment seems right, suggest that as part of their formation plan, your colleagues might like to begin using the five discernment questions we recommend for inquiry with those they are serving. Just exploring those five questions with seekers and candidates will begin to change our parish formation processes.
If, after that initial taste of moving toward a process modeled on the RCIA process your colleagues want to learn more, you can share with them this webinar recording: RCIA as the Model for All Parish Formation.
Whether you get that far or not is not the point however. The most important thing is to convert ourselves—those of us who are responsible for the RCIA process—to an understanding that we have to become ambassadors of that process to the rest of the parish.
What do you think?
Are other faith formation teams in your parish using the six principles of the RCIA to shape their ministry? Are the members of your RCIA teams discussing ways you can help them do that?
See also these related articles:
- Discover a simple way to help the whole parish catechize the RCIA way
- Is your RCIA team a good model for the rest of the parish catechists?
- Altoona-Johnstown doing serious work on baptismal catechumenate as model for Confirmation
- Houston RCIA teams focus on catechumenate as the model
- Episode 32: Five ways the RCIA inspires parish-wide formation
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