Goodbye to good friends at the North American Forum on the Catechumenate

16 thoughts on “Goodbye to good friends at the North American Forum on the Catechumenate”

  1. Debbie Stollery

    To all who ever made a Forum event happen…and to Jim and Aleli,

    The fruit of your labors is still giving life and nourishment, beauty and hope to me and literally hundreds of people like me. Because of you, we had Pentecost experiences of our own…we heard the Rite in our own languages and saw the fire of the Spirit burn. We met people of Spirit and Fire and we met the Lord Jesus. And we learned how to share that with those God entrusted to our care.

    Well done good and faithful servants!! Now you wait for God to call you anew, for it is inconceivable that your many gifts will leave us. So I wait, in sorrowful hope for what will rise because of the fruit you’ve born.

    And for our dear friend Margie Sullivan, I offer deep gratitude. You gave her life, hope, love, and a place to use her considerable gifts. And she shared all that with me. Is there a better model of faith and love?

    Go in God and watch…the Spirit is amovin’!
    Debbie Stollery

  2. Dear Aleli and Jim, and all who have helmed NAFC over the years,

    We certainly do have our own litany of saints, don’t we? What giants of faith and apostles of gospel life we have known, more than a handful of whom have gone to glory. But you two, as Nick mentioned, have done such faithful, constant, unsung work for so many years, by my conservative estimation, shepherding as many as 50K-60K leaders in initiation ministry, with numbers maybe in the millions of Christians made-not-born. You are godparents of legions in the reign of God. People will be saved from death because of your work in the field. Hungry people will be fed, prisoners visited and freed, the sightless will see, and some without hope will hear the gospel because of your unrelenting fidelity to our mission.
    So our litany of saints is not just people who have passed beyond our sight, but people who sent emails, made phone calls, and found common ground among wildly varied ecclesiologies. God bless you for that. And thank you for letting me be a small part of it, and for all you’ve done for me and all of us for so long. I will be proud to my last breath of having been part of this ministry, which you have cheerfully directed and supported. May God ease your transition to new places, “and the blessings promised to the compassionate be yours in abundance.” Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  3. Rick Goodwin

    Look forward to the new Pentecost of all the wonderful gifts NAFC has honored the church. as the strong driving winds destroy an organization, we can also be hopeful that these new winds will bring much hope in new ways we do not see now, Thank you Jim and Aleli and all who have helped us grow into a strong Christian community. peace, Rick Goodwin, Orange Diocese, Ca

  4. So many thanks to all who contributed to the Forum over the years. I had the privilege of attending 5 institutes over the 18 years I have spent in RCIA in my parish. Such amazing formation. I pray that the Spirit will help all of us for whom this ministry is so important to find new ways to connect, to learn and share, and hopefully too for a time when face time sharing will return, as that was one of the great strengths of the Forum. Doing in ritual what was envisioned by the Rite has always been most formative for me. Many, many blessings upon all who have led us in the past and also upon those who now take up the challenge and the commitment to not let this essential ministry falter.

  5. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Forum over the years. I’ve attended three Forums over the past 14 years and found them very helpful in ministry as RCIA Director. May God bless each of you, especially Jim and Aleia. Know that your good work lives on long after you leave this ministry. Peace and all good to you!

  6. Barbara Silvia

    I will never forget sitting in a worship at the LA Congress listening to you talk about RCIA and realizing I had no idea what you were talking about…..we were so far away from the model the church intended! With the help of a Forum and the publications from Team RCIA we were able to form a functioning team and implement the directives in the Rite!
    Thank you for your effort! It was priceless and necessary for all of us!

  7. Thank you, Jim and Aleli, for all your hard work. The participants benefitted. The people to whom they ministered benefitted. And so did I from the many friendships I made among Forum team members, and by observing your admirable work. Thank you for making the Church and the world a better place!

  8. Margaret Brack

    Dearest Aleli and Jim, What incredible work you did. Aleli you were there for me in so many ways. You always were a steady and calm force through any last minute changes and needs. I was spoiled since I was an active team member during the height of Forum’s work. Going out on 3 to 4 institutes a year. Being part of the new ideas; such as mini-institutes and culturally specific ones. Participating with the other musicians at our conferences. Jim and Aleli, I will miss you both and all my fellow team members. Your ministry was integral in bringing so many people into the faith and helping so many churches reach out to their communities. Blessings to you!

  9. Gordon E. Trruitt

    Someone at the NPM Office commented the other day on the irony of the timing. At a time when the Church is officially focused on the “new evangelization,” in the midst of the “Year of Faith,” we have managed not to support one of the major institutions that has taught us about evangelization, invitation, initiation, and mystagogy. To quote one of my favorite philosophers: “So it goes.”

  10. Jackie Graham

    To Aleli: You have coached me through three institutes here in St. Paul/Minneapolis. You were always there for me and made a seemingly overwhelming job so easy.
    To Jim: You have been an inspiration to so many, teaching us to have faith in the sound principles of conversion and initiation.
    To you both: I am determined to continue to join all those who will work to keep your vision of Church alive. We who work in the catechumenate have been blessed by you, and there are thousands of people who have made the journey to baptism and full communion whose formation in the faith was the direct result of your life work. Thank you and may God bless your comings and your goings.

  11. Dear Jim, Aleli, and Forum friends! Thank you for being there for the life-changing experiences over 31+ years of Initiation Ministry!! The truth in many of our lives is that we found hope, formation, friendship and a deep faith in and through our ministry with Forum. We’ve also faced and lived the Paschal Mystery — more than once — in the life of Forum. Standing on the threshold of change means that many of us will continue to connect through conferences, workshops, correspondence — and through TEAM RCIA. God is in the midst of it all, mystery and whatever the future holds. Thank you and Shalom! Clare

  12. Tim Piasecki

    Jim and Aleli,
    I miss you and Forum already. And I shall miss the challenge and affirmation you always offered. Blessings on whatever is next.
    Pope Francis says that the work of the Holy Spirit is to push the Church forward.
    Thank you for enabling thousands of us to join with the Spirit in giving evangelization
    and conversion to the Gospel a big push forward.
    The Lord’s peace be yours for the asking. Tim

  13. Dear precious Jim and Aleli, you have faithfully sowed so many marvelous seeds for so long. We can be confident that those seeds will continue to grow and bear great fruit. Thank you for blessing my faith, my whole life. As we journey onward, you will both remain in my grateful prayers. Cathy

  14. Forum has made a wonderful mark on the Church. It is sad to see the end of its contribution. I hope then gifts it has offered will continue to bring life to the church.

  15. It is with great sadness that we have to say goodbye to two such wonderful people who have made the Forum work over the years. Having participated in many forum institutes since its beginning, I know that this is what formed me into being the Director of RCIA since the late 70’s. Your work has touched so many people over the years and I know that it will continue as you will still be as compassionate for the process as you have always been. May God bless you and comfort you in this time of sorrow and bring you peace with this difficult position that you faced. My prayers are with you.

  16. Debbie Walker

    Dear Jim and Aleli, and countless Team Members,

    The words “thank you” don’t seem adequate to express the depth of my appreciation for your dedication to the mission of the the NA Forum on the Catechumenate. Through Forum institutes, I have most definitely been initiated into the vision of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Encouraged by Forum members I continue to unpack this beloved ministry. Go with God, friends, Go with God!

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