How will you respond this Easter to visitors interested in the Catholic Church?

1 thought on “How will you respond this Easter to visitors interested in the Catholic Church?”

  1. J.B. ALBANESE

    It has taken many years but our parish RCIA has evolved into more or less a year round Catechumenate. We do start regular Tuesday night meetings from 7:30 to 9:15 in September, but we welcome people 12 months of the year. We continue meeting on Tuesdays until Pentecost Sunday. At Pentecost we decorate the church – particularly the entrance and the large hall to celebrate the Birthday of the Church. We ask for volunteers every year from the parish to bake cupcakes and in a parish where we have 6 masses every weekend and the church is packed for each and every mass – we have enough cupcakes for everyone in attendance to take a cupcake home. The decorations include posters with the words “Come Holy Spirit, Fill the Hearts of your Faithful” written in 27 languages – all of which are spoken within our parish family. There are also large wrapped “Gift Boxes” labelled with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and a Tree in the entrance foyer that has the “Fruits of the Spirit” hanging on it. The Neophytes, on going catechumens and inquirers act as hosts and hostesses after every mass.

    When we receive an inquiry from someone during July and August or even around the time of Holy Week – one of the team meet with them either at the church or for coffee somewhere. Then we arrange for them to begin attending mass and someone meets them at church to answer questions and make them feel welcome. Then our RCIA director usually has at least one Friendly gathering at her home in July and one in August in which new inquirers are invited along with any of our RCIA members who are either Neophytes, Catechumens, or Candidates.

    Most inquirers whether they come to us in July, September, February or after spend approximately one full year and a half with us unless they are well catechized and so every person’s situation is looked at individually and discerned on a case by case basis.

    We were worried the first year we began telling people who came in September that they would not likely be ready for Baptism until the Easter after next that we would discourage people. This has not been the case. It does mean that your sponsors have to make a very long time commitment, but it works. Our door is never closed until the next September whenever anyone knocks.

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