Five laws of RCIA catechesis

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15 thoughts on “Five laws of RCIA catechesis”

  1. based on these laws, the catechist must also be trained in spiritual direction. Or at least some members of the RCIA team should be able to direct the seekers, candidates and catechumen at a spiritual level. Correct?

    1. Hi Marie. I think if you had a trained spiritual director on your team, that would be fantastic. Most teams aren’t able to provide that however. As you say, I do think team members should be attentive to seekers, candidates, and catechumens’ spiritual development. That takes some effort, but not any specialized training.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and blessings on your ministry!

      –Nick

  2. What an excellent little article! We have just been asked to provide the ‘year’s program’ with specific dates, topics, and catechists. As co-chairs we have found that flexibility has served us well. We may have a specific plan 6-weeks out, but with great regularity that is not quite what happens because of the very things you site in your article. Father might be giving a talk we hadn’t planned on and it fits perfectly with RCIA, so we adjust our schedule for that. All kinds of reasons dictate that any program written stone does not work for us. We will provide the program through the end of the year just to satisfy the political need, but I guarantee it will NOT be quite what happens. Rigidity becomes a program, not a conversion of heart. Thank you very much.

  3. Thanks for your comments Sid! Blessings on all the fine work you are doing. It sounds like your parish is lucky to have you.

    –Nick

  4. Bruce in Kansas

    Excellent points in the article. My only quibble would be that the profession of faith – the “I believe” – is in fact a set of topics; a built-in “calendar of lessons” to encounter Christ. Your point about community and love of neighbor as the manifestation of living a life in Christ is a good one, but it seems as though you are setting the catechist up to determine if each inquirer is validly proceeding after the rite of acceptance. That’s not right, is it?

    1. Hi Bruce. Thanks for your terrific comments! If I’m understanding your point about setting the catechist up to determine the progress of each inquirer, then no, I wouldn’t say that is what the catechist does. But the catechist, along with the inquirer, the sponsor, the rest of the team, and the pastor, are always in dialogue about the conversion process the inquirer is undergoing. There are clear lifestyle criteria in the RCIA that inquirers and catechumens are expected to meet before moving to the next stage. So each faith journey has some level of accountability. (See for example, RCIA 42 and 120-121.)

      Thanks for your commitment to this ministry and all the work you are doing.

      –Nick

  5. I am so heartened to hear repeatedly that our goal is to lead people into relationship with Jesus Christ. Often sponsors will come to me and say that we aren’t teaching enough Catholic doctrine and I respond that people need to know Jesus first before anything else will make sense. Thank you for all that you do to help us with our mission in RCIA.

    1. Hi Lynda. Thanks so much for your comment! We do teach Catholic doctrine, of course, but the teaching flows from the development of our relationship with Jesus. It sounds like you are doing a terrific job leading your sponsors and catechumens. Blessings on your ministry.

      –Nick

  6. Larry Guilbault

    Hi Nick,
    Thanks again for all the great information. This website is the basis for our Team formation efforts. The structure that we try to use in our parish is to always be prepared to introduce some facet of the Four Pillers at every session. The more important structure is to be prepared to lay that topic aside to allow our Catechumens and Candidates to set the theme of the evening to meet their needs. We find there is always time to give our people what we want them to get; but only the time at hand to give what they want to know.
    Peace,
    Larry

  7. “We find there is always time to give our people what we want them to get; but only the time at hand to give what they want to know.”

    Wow, Larry. That is such a great statement! Thanks for your commitment to this ministry. Keep up the great work.

    –Nick

  8. Thank you for your article. You speak what I believe, the purpose of RCIA is to guide the candidates or catechumens into a relationship with Jesus, the Christ. The team is the first spokesperson and model. The whole Church community also share that role.

  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Norah! And thanks for your dedication to all those who are seeking a relationship with Jesus. Blessings.

    –Nick

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