Summer RCIA institute

Create a faith explosion in your parish


“Faith is a gift, but it is also a task.”

Pope Benedict XVI said that. What do you think he meant? I think he meant that we, the people of faith, have been given powerful spiritual gifts. And we have to put those gifts into action.

Another pope—Pope Paul VI—said it is unthinkable that we would be given these gifts and then not go out and tell others about how great God is. And yet the unthinkable is happening!

There are many, many Catholics in our very own parishes who are filled with Christ every Sunday at the Eucharist. And yet so many of them seem to take their gifts for granted:

  • faith seems lukewarm and action is limited and delayed. I know this isn’t news to you. You struggle with it all the time.
  • parents drop off their children for sacramental prep, but don’t participate
  • teens seem bored and distracted if they show up at all
  • neophytes don’t return for mystagogy
  • getting volunteers for a new project is like pulling teeth

You probably have more examples to add to the list. So what can we do about all this?

We have to use our gifts as best we can to initiate an explosion of faith

What would you say if I told you we have a powerful, transformative, life-changing gift that could completely upend our parishes? I think you might be skeptical. I think you might be even more skeptical when I tell you that gift is the initiation process—what most parishes call the “RCIA.”

But hear me out. I won’t take too much more of your time, I promise. What most parishes call “RCIA” has become a form of adult CCD. The heart and soul of the initiation process has never really been implemented in many, many places. However, I have seen a few parishes where a culture of evangelization and catechesis has truly been implanted in the hearts of the parishioners.

Two clear promises

Based on that experience, I can make you two promises:

  1. If you establish the guiding principles of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as the center pole of your initiation process, you will be baptizing Spirit-filled, on-fire-with-faith disciples who won’t be able to shut up about all their God-given blessings.
  2. And, more than that! If you establish these same principles as the guiding light for all of your sacramental preparation and ongoing catechesis, your parish will become a new Pentecost, filled with the rushing wind and blazing fire of the Holy Spirit.

So how do you get your parish to that point? Obviously it involves some work and some commitment. (If it were easy, everybody would be doing it!)

As a first step, here is a commitment I would like to ask of you. Carve out one week out of your insanely busy schedule this August to meet with fellow religious educators, pastors, catechists, RCIA folks, and faith-filled disciples to dive deeply into this amazing process. We’ll begin on Monday morning and we won’t come up for air until Friday afternoon.

Benefits to you and your parish

If choose to be part of this powerful learning opportunity, here is what you can expect:

  • You will clearly understand the six fundamental principles essential to any catechetical program, sacramental preparation process, or RCIA process (with adults or children)
  • You will discover a spiritual process of faith building and renewal that can be systematically applied to any faith formation activity or program in your parish
  • You will master simple, doable techniques that will turn your Sunday liturgy into an engaging source of spiritual renewal every weekend
  • You will learn who you need to have on your team and how to find them
  • You will come away with concrete goals and next steps for transforming your parish community
  • Most of all, you will gain a new confidence in your role as a faith formation leader or volunteer in your parish

Please act on this now, because this is going to be the most helpful thing you do for your parish ministry this year.

Anyone who serves in parish ministry!

  • Pastors
  • Parochial Vicars
  • Pastoral Associates
  • Parish Catechetical Leaders
  • Youth Ministers
  • RCIA teams
  • Principals
  • Office Staff
  • Parish Councils


Monday, 8/19
8-9:00 Morning Prayer
9:00 Registration
9:30 —12:00 Sessions
12:00 Lunch
1-5:00 Sessions
6:00 Dinner
8:00 Evening Prayer
8:30 Social
Tuesday- Thursday, 8/20—8/22
8:00 Breakfast
8:40 Morning Prayer
9 – 12:00 Sessions
12:00 Lunch
1-5:00 Sessions
6:00 Dinner
8:00 Evening Prayer
8:30 Social
Friday, 8/23
8:00 Breakfast
8:40 Morning Prayer
9 – 12:00 Sessions
12:00 Lunch
1-3:00 Sessions
3:00 Dismissal

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Topics and objectives

Nick WagnerNick 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.

2010-06 - DJM - headshot - 3_5in x 4_25in - 121x160Diana Macalintal is the Director of Worship for the Diocese of San José and holds a Master of Arts in Theology with honors from Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. She has served as a liturgist and music director in campus, parish, and diocesan ministries for over 20 years and has authored articles on liturgy and music in Modern Liturgy, Ministry & Liturgy, Pastoral Music, Eucharistic Ministries, Parish Life, AIM, and Today’s Parish Minister. In 2003, she received the Tabat Scholarship from the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions. She is a team member of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, a keynote speaker, workshop presenter, and liturgy director for national conferences, and a cantor and liturgical composer. She maintains a blog for the Diocese of San José called Work of the People.

What will all this cost?

Resgister by August 12 to get the early bird discount!

If you bring five people, get a $25 discount per person. (The cost for the week is based on single or double occupancy and is per person):

Group After 8/12
Single: $375 $350 $400
Double: $305 $280 $330
Commuter: $225 $200 $250


Rooms are limited!

  • Single and double rate includes room and board, 13 meals, and great evening socials!
  • Commuter rate includes five lunches.
  • To reserve your spot, we must receive your registration no later than August 12.
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