Why is it important to involve the whole parish in the RCIA?

6 thoughts on “Why is it important to involve the whole parish in the RCIA?”

  1. Brenda Christian

    I agree with you completely that the whole parish community should be involved it the RCIA process. One of the things that we include in our process is schedule a ministry night with for the catechumens. This gives them the opportunity to learn about the different ministries that are offered at the parish as well meeting of parishioners. During the season of Advent we involved them in the Mass by allowing them to place the candles in the Advent wreath. Also, during the season of Lent along with other parishioners they participate in the Stations of the Cross. These are just a few of the things that we do to get the community involved in the RCIA process.

  2. Therese Carroll-Caruso

    I think the most important reason to involve the whole community in the RCIA process is to help the community members recall that, by virtue of their own baptisms, they opened their lives to any and everyone else in the family of God and they have a responsibility to provide support, encouragement, example, and prayer to those who are seeking to join the family. The RCIA process is essential to their own renewal and deepening commitment to faith.

  3. If Eucharist is the last Sacrament of Initiation, then we are all continually being initiated into the Body of Christ, the Church. Initiation is a life-long process, which includes everyone in the parish.

  4. Nobody in my parish would agree with: “Welcoming seekers into the way of faith and conversion is the most important thing we do.” The most important thing is parish preservation — Mass, confessions, CCD for children. There is no interaction between parishioners at Mass, let alone with those who have disappeared to break open the Word. After Mass everyone is running for their cars. What are ways/events to bring catechumens together with parishioners? What are ways to interest parishioners to interact with each other?

    1. Hi Paula. It’s hard to give a definitive answer since I don’t know your parish. However, let’s just look at the top three things you listed and brainstorm a little.

      Mass
      -Ask the catechumens to be greeters at the doors
      -Once in a while, have a catechumen give a 2-minute witness just before dismissal
      -Create 3×5 cards with the name and picture of a catechumen on each one; ask parishioners to take one home and pray for that catechumen daily.

      Confessions
      -Bring the catechumens to the parish reconciliation service. They can’t go to confession, but they can pray with the parishioners
      -Ask the parishioners to do one penitential thing for the catechumens during Lent. For example, give up table salt or give up chocolate.

      CCD
      -Bring the catechumens to some of the sessions the children have. Introduce them to the children and the catechists.
      -Ask the children to create prayer posters for the catechumens
      -Ask the children to write letters to the catechumens
      -Invite the catechumens to a parent meeting; introduce them to the parents

      I’m sure you must do other things in your parish besides just those three things. Gather your team and brainstorm some ways to involve the catechumens in those events also. Let me know what you come up with. I’ll pray for you.

      Nick

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