Four things I learned about RCIA with teens from “The Glee Project”

3 thoughts on “Four things I learned about RCIA with teens from “The Glee Project””

  1. Good thoughts, Rita!

    Can you address the question of discernment for teens? The persistent competition dynamic in reality shows usually substitutes for plot (keeps people watching to the end). But I wonder if, in real life, these entertainments create more anxiety for teens overall. Will any teen who needs more time for the process be likely to feel they “lost” and others “won” or something like that. Is there some “discernment” (going by another name) in the Glee world?

    Or perhaps this is going to come up in your webinar?

  2. Rita Burns Senseman

    Good questions, Rita. There is a lot about “The Glee Project” that does not fit with or relate to RCIA in any way. However, the discernment issue you raise is very important. In RCIA with teens discernment is ongoing throughout the process. The underlying discernment question is always there, “Do you want to follow Jesus and live this Catholic Christian way of life?” Not all teens who start the process find they want to live this life and thus they opt out.
    In addition, a more specific discernment happens before each of the rites when we help teens discern if conversion is truly happening. That type of discernment is an adaptation of what we do with adults or children.
    Going back to the “The Glee Project,” some of those kids also do a type of discernment and they opt out of the competition. Both this season and last season one of the young people decided they didn’t want the type of life style that was being offered and they chose to go home. Glee did not fit their value system or way of life. They were not willing to do what was being asked.
    For us as Catholic Christians, we offer teens a way of life and help them to discern if they want to follow the way of Jesus Christ. There are no winners and losers. Everyone who wants to follow Christ according to the Catholic Christian way of life is indeed welcome.

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