“Destruct” your precatechumenate to prepare RCIA inquirers

4 thoughts on ““Destruct” your precatechumenate to prepare RCIA inquirers”

  1. To all who are invested in the RCIA process, to all who have numerous questions about the process and the “what to do and what not to do’s,” to all who may be new to the process and have been given this ministry by a pastor who twisted your arm, please make sure your attend a workshop that is presented by Nick and Diana. I promise it will be the best investment your parish ever makes.
    Joe Stofleth

  2. Rev. James Sauer

    I appreciate the criteria listed to determine whether one has been evangelized (or “re-evangelized”). However, I think there are two criteria missing — some sense of church and the spirit of the parish; and, the beginning of calling upon God in prayer. The former is so crucial since they will become part of the visible Body of Christ that the Rite itself says that Catholics should even invite inquirers/candidates/catechumens into personal conversation (for a ritual, this is a pretty detailed instruction). The latter about calling upon God in prayer made be implied in some sense of the mystery of God’s love; but I feel it needs to more clearly expressed.

  3. I came up with a pre-catechumenate strategy that has turned out to be very effective. After the intitial conversation with a potential candidate, I send them on an “adventure” that I call “4 Masses – 4 Questions.” I ask them to simply go to Mass 4 times, however long it takes (sometimes 4 weeks, sometimes 4 months, sometimes longer) and come back with 4 observations or questions. I give them a sheet which explains this adventure, and also lists other things that are coming up in the parish that they might want to take advantage of (liturgy, prayer, education, social). I ask them if they’d like to make a date right then and there to get together again, or if they’d prefer to call me when they’re ready. If they choose the latter, I wait two months and then give one follow-up call to see where they’re at. After that, it’s up to them.

    This has done a number of things: it lets them know that “the main class is Mass” and that this is indeed the source and center of our lives as Christians. It weeds anyone who wanted to be baptized/confirmed but was not interested in going to Mass. AND, withthose who pursue it, I have had the most AMAZING conversations upon their return. It has served as a wonderful springboard for whatever is next for them. Depending on how that conversation goes, they may choose to just continue and meet with me again in a month. If I perceive they’re ready, I invite them to come and sit with the catechumens and candidates and go as a “guest” to break open the Word to see if they’re attracted to it. I might connect them with some service or learning opportunity if they’re so inclined. If they follow through on any of this, then we have the talk about discerning readiness for catechumenate or candidacy. Really simple – really effective!

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