No one knows how to do RCIA
I have a secret that might surprise you. The secret is, no one knows how to do the RCIA. Not really.
I know what you’re thinking. You know how to do the RCIA. Or you know someone who does. Or you went to a workshop where the presenters knew. Once I heard someone say, “I’ve been doing the RCIA for twenty years!” Surely someone who has been doing something for that long knows how to do it.
I’m not so sure. I think no one really knows how to “do the RCIA” because we’ve never done it before. When you go to a workshop or read a book or talk to someone who “has been doing this for twenty years” to learn how to do the RCIA, it is like saying to Christopher Columbus, “How do I get to India?” And Chris points west and says, “I’m not completely sure, but I think it’s this way.” And because you trust Chris or because your pastor paid for your boat ticket, you bundle yourself onto the Santa Maria and head out into deep water, hoping you don’t get swallowed by dragons along the way.
Can you imagine what’s next? Pope Francis can
RCIA-wise, I don’t think we’ve gotten to India yet. I think we have just barely landed on the shores of the New World. There is so much more to discover that we haven’t even imagined.
Fortunately, we do have an imaginative captain. Pope Francis talks about what the church will look like in the “New World.” In this New World, we are going to need radical, committed, passionate disciples. He says this is what the church of the future will look like:
The Church which “goes forth” is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice. An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, he has loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19), and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast. Such a community has an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy. Let us try a little harder to take the first step and to become involved. (The Joy of the Gospel, 24)
Okay, take a big breath and think about this for a second. Is the way you are “doing RCIA” forming “a community of missionary disciples who take the first step”?
You’re invited to learn how to make disciples
If we’re honest, I think a lot of us think of the RCIA as a really cool way to make Catholics. We aren’t really thinking of making missionary disciples. What does that even mean? How would we even start?
Well, that’s something we should talk about. And we want you to be part of the conversation. We’re inviting you (urging you, really) to join a group of adventurers and explorers like yourself to help figure out how the RCIA can make a real difference in our parishes.
Over the course of a Friday evening and all-day Saturday, we are going to pull apart the RCIA and examine it from the inside out. We’re going to figure out exactly how it is going to help us explore the “New World” Pope Francis imagines.
Benefits to your team
Specifically, here is what you and your team are going to get out of this. You and your team will:
- Discover how the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a powerful conversion process that forms “missionary disciples”
- Learn how to apply the core principles of the RCIA across the entire parish to form even more missionary disciples
- Acquire the skills to build an evangelizing parish that involves the entire community in calling forth missionary disciples
- Know how to recruit and build a thriving RCIA team that is focused on disciple formation
- Learn how to grow a pool of passionate, engaged sponsors who mentor seekers into discipleship
Your next step
Please act on this now, because this is going to be the most helpful thing you do for your parish ministry this year.
Just click on the link to the (arch)diocesan location you are most interested in attending. (You can find the links in the right sidebar.) That will take you to an information page where you can learn more and register.
We look forward to seeing you there!