Evangelizing the “nones”—an easy RCIA challenge

7 thoughts on “Evangelizing the “nones”—an easy RCIA challenge”

  1. Michele Laughlin

    I can’t tell you how RIGHT you are! One thing I learned as a Pastoral Associate for the past 7 years (just retired in August) is that every single time I welcomed someone I did not recognize, fruit was born from the welcome! New parishioners, new volunteers, convalidation or marriage, baptism of babies, RCIA folks- it was always beneficial to the parish and to the person.
    This really hit home when my husband and I attended a Catholic Church down the street from our new home. I had to seek out a staff member to get some information about the parish (Pastor is on vacation for a month). When I asked about the RCIA process, intending to see if I could volunteer, she told me, “at this parish people don’t come here to become Catholic- they come here to stay Catholic.”. She also told me that the pastor offered private conversion classes if someone wanted to join the Church because it was so rare! She told me that the other two local ‘liberal’ parishes offered ‘stuff like that’. This parish may not be the new home for us….I guess I’ll have to check out the other two parishes. I thought that spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ was the first mission of the Church. Perhaps a visit with the pastor will clarify things, but I was very much taken aback.

    1. Hi Michele. Thanks for sharing. It is sometimes incredible the lengths we will go to not evangelize. Congratulations on your retirement!

  2. It is true that most of the time meeting new people, they are either visiting and have a home parish, or looking. Sometimes people don’t take the ministry of ushers/greeters too seriously- they are invaluable. It is easy to get into a rut and speak only to people we know. Really appreciate your column- thanks.
    Peggy

    1. Wow, Peggy, you are so right about getting into the rut of only talking to people we know. I fall into that myself sometimes. Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. I agree wholeheartedly with Peggy. Our parish is very small (a little over six hundred registered parishioners) and yet we have large numbers coming into our parish (15 adults this year and 8 children). Our parish is very welcoming and that is what I hear from all of the people I interview for the RCIA. We introduce ourselves to people around us before each Mass and our greeter/ushers are great at meeting everyone at the outside door of our vestibule. They personally greet each person when they come up the steps to the doors, even in bad weather. People want to feel welcome and needed before they will commit to joining a church. Hats off to our parishioners for the great job they do.

  4. Our parish priest asks if we have any visitors at the end of each Sunday Mass; he asks their names, where they are from, and why they are in the area.
    Lectors then invite the visitors to free coffee and donuts. Parishioners follow up with introductions.

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