Knowing content is not sufficient for RCIA…according to the pope

"Glasses On Old Books" courtesy of Surachai | FreeDigitalPhotos.net

8 thoughts on “Knowing content is not sufficient for RCIA…according to the pope”

  1. I went through the RCIA and enjoyed the class. As I was going through the class, the connection with the sponsor was more they being in the class and showing up. What I took away after being baptized was you have the class unification but not the church. So since then I have dismissed myself from the Church and will initially go back on my own to return. The feedback I received was that you were more independent after RCIA. I understand it is important to follow your own path and journey. After talking with other RCIA members of a different church and race, they had the same interpretation. People can fill a church with empty hearts and out of habit — so where do you find the ones that are truly committed to help you on your journey?

  2. Hi Teresa. I regret that your RCIA process did not create a sense of unity for you with your parish. That is supposed to be the goal of every initiation process, but too often it does not happen. I pray you will return and begin to make connections with your community. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    –Nick

  3. I always tell the team and candidates that it (RCIA) is not a “head trip” but a “heart trip” – getting to know and believe in Jesus Christ. Also, I incorporate several prayer experiences – I live in the border of U.S. and Mexico and so Our Lady of Guadalupe is central to our faith here. On her day I tell her story and teach the candidates how to pray the rosary – using the Guadalupe story as the decades. Also I set up a Day of the Dead altar and invite the candidates to bring a memento of a loved one who has passed away. Great opportunity to teach about the Saints and the Church’s teachings on life after death.

  4. Yes, RCIA should not only be informative but more importantly, FORMATIVE. The process should enhance the experience of Christ rather than more focused on the “do’s & dont’s” and the rituals of the church.

  5. Rita Burns Senseman

    What renews my hope and my faith is the Vatican II image of the Church as the People of God. I think this is also important for our ministry in RCIA. I absolutely agree with Nick that our faith is first and foremost about a person: Jesus Christ. In addition, we are bringing folks into our Church, which is the Body of Christ. What I love about the Council is the way it highlight Church as People of God, in addition to Church as Body of Christ. Both images are important for us in RCIA.

  6. Lucille Roberge

    What I particularly liked about Vatican II is that it made God reachable to me. The church became human, it was no longer a building, but a living, breathing unit of God. The council made it a possibility to participate. I grew up thinking that you had to be a nun or priest to be able to make a difference in Life. In RCIA, we first explain that it starts with building a relationship with Jesus thru worship, scripture, prayer community life. We ask them to look each week to see where they saw Jesus working in their life during the week. In addition we reinforce tradition and church teachings, in addition to reinforcing that this is just the beginning, it doesn’t stop at Initiation. It is their responsibility to continue studying and growing in their faith. The WORD is alive and talks to us continually throughout our life journey, we need to remain focused and in tune to Him.

  7. Even though it takes some doing, every time I reread documents from the Second Vatican Council, it really does excite me. Is it the content, or the things spelled out for us to do or not do?? NO! It is primarily the fact that it was a time to recognize that faith is a living, breathing entity that, if not nurtured, will not flourish, but will die. We never know “enough” about our faith, and are destined for a lifetime of learning. The Bishops modeled this for us by gathering together and looking at how we as a Church also need to be nurtured and need to grow in our knowledge of self and the people whom we serve. It reminds me that I, too, must revisit each aspect of my faith to renew my excitement! A stagnant faith cannot bear fruit!

  8. Teresa, I also regret that you experience of RCIA was not rich and deep. The fact that you called it “classes” is the first sign of that. It seems your RCIA team thought their job was to teach you doctrine, and that is surely part of it. But what you may have read elsewhere in this website is that it is the job of the community to gradually introduce you into its life in Christ. This is I think really the main readon we need a catechumenate that is a year long. It takes a long time to introduce newcomers into the many facets of parish life, not only its liturgy. In participating in inner city soup kitchens, parish missions, learning about the various ministries in the parish, etc. over time candidates/ catechumens can find connections with parishioners and begin to find a place where they feel comfortable. This is especially true in a large parish where, as you mentioned, you feel a bit lost soon after Easter season. The period after Easter is another aspect that really requires strong support for those newly baptized or received into the church.

    I think it’s great that you were looking for and found this great website. In our RCIA we call the time spent a journey. My prayers are with you as you continue your journey of faith.

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