TeamRCIA Catechist School — Diocese of Portland, Maine

Registration page

Date: June 23-24, 2017

Register by June 9, 2017 to get the early bird discount!


IndividualGroup (3+)
Early bird to June 9th$80.00$75.00
After June 9th$90.00
Registration Closes June 20th
Diocese of Portland Chancery
510 Ocean Ave.
Portland, ME 04103

Video Conference Available at:

St. John’s Church
Conference Room
207 York St.
Bangor, ME 04401

Holy Rosary Parish Center
34 Vaughn St.
Caribou, ME 04736

Schedule and session outline

8:30 Opening prayer
8:40 Opening comments and introduction school
8:50 Overview of six principles of initiatory formation (RCIA) and the art of catechesis is rooted in conversion and evangelization
10:00 Break
10:15 How the baptismal catechumenate inspires all catechetical ministry
11:05 Creating a conversion-centered liturgical experience (group exercise)
11:35 What makes an effective catechist?
12:15 Lunch
1:00 Evangelizing as Jesus did
1:35 Workshop—using the principles
2:10 Art of story telling
3:20 Break
3:40 Workshop—using the principles
4:40 Crafting a Bible story
5:10 Period of evangelization
6:30 Closing prayer

8:30 Announcements
8:40 Overview of period of catechumenate
9:00 Celebration of Rite of Anointing of the Catechumens
9:45 Mystagogical reflection on the rite of anointing
10:15 Break
10:30 How to catechize and express a liturgical theology of the rites
11:00 Breaking open the word
11:45 Analysis of breaking open the word
12:15 Lunch
1:00 Presenting doctrinal session flowing from liturgical year
2:00 Break
2:15 Analysis of doctrinal session
2:30 Questions and answers
3:30 Summary of learning
4:15 Nine steps of evangelizing catechesis based on the commercial market
4:45 Closing prayer and farewell
5:00 End

You are going to be in good hands. The TeamRCIA Catechist School has been designed by and will be led by two national experts in catechetical ministry: Mary Birmingham and Nick Wagner. They each have over two decades of experience training parish catechists.

Mary Birmingham (MA Liturgy and Theology, St. John’s University Collegeville, MN) is the director of liturgy, music and Christian initiation at Ascension Catholic Community in Melbourne, Florida. Mary has been involved in national RCIA ministry since 1992. Mary provides workshops in scriptural and doctrinal catechesis, liturgical and sacramental catechesis, and all components of the RCIA. Mary is a former team member of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate and the author of Word and Worship Workbook (Years ABC), Year Round Catechumenate, Faith, Life and Creed: A Complete Catechesis for Christian Living, Formed in Faith: Sessions for Inquiry, Catechumenate, and Ongoing Faith Formation, Confirming Adult Catholics, Purified and Enlightened: RCIA Sessions for Lent.

Nick Wagner is the director and founder of He has more than 25 years experience as a leader and trainer in liturgical and catechetical ministries. He has a gift for translating theological principles into simple and clear language that inspires joy, commitment and passion for faith. He is the author of numerous articles and several books and on parish ministry including Whole Community Liturgy and The Way of Faith: A Field Guide for the RCIA Process (Twenty-Third Publications). He was an active team member with the North American Forum on the Catechumenate. He has worked in campus, parish and diocesan positions, and he holds a master’s degree from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota.