How to reduce hoop jumping in the RCIA

"Hulahoop" by Luzia Lindenbaum | Flickr

3 thoughts on “How to reduce hoop jumping in the RCIA”

  1. Greetings all

    Let me share my experience of dropping the hoops by moving from a program based system to one that is individually tailored for each catechumen. The catechumenate seems to be the period that has many hoops to jump through, for example, making sure you have covered enough topics to prepare for their initiation or reception into full communion.

    In the catechumenate period many parishes (in the past myself included) appear to have reduced the focus of this period to some form of structured catechesis and consequently believing that they must have a “team” that includes a leader, catechist(s), sponsors and some other additional team members providing support and/or hospitality. Hence the usual response that I can’t get enough team members or I can’t ask the few to do even more.

    This is an issue if the focus is too much on doctrinal catechesis, rather than taking on board the broad requirements of the catechumenate period. However if you move the focus away from team needs and to one that is exclusively focused on the needs of each individual inquirer or catechumen and the role and responsibilities of people in the parish to the catechumen, then the focus moves from the team and their needs to one that focuses on creating opportunities for parishioners to assist in this particular person’s faith journey through RCIA or their reception into full communion.

    By changing this focus I have found that I only need a small team of three or four parishioners who help me plan each individual journey. We become coordinators and facilitators not constant hands on doers.

    Our role has now become one of match-making – matching inquirer/catechumen needs to parishioners who can supply the response to those needs. It may be as simple as spending ½hour having coffee and discussing why Sunday Mass is so critical to that parishioner’s weekly life activities, or, alternatively for another parishioner it may be slightly more complex involving several meetings to explain a particular aspect of the paschal mystery. Most of these parishioners do not see themselves as members of the RCIA team, but rather as just helping out because they were asked to do a task. Most would refuse if they thought they would be classified as formal members of the RCIA team.

    By changing my RCIA thinking and “team language” I have created a much simpler and easier workload for myself and others.

    The key has been asking many people to do small short-term tasks to help an inquirer or catechumen on their faith journey, not expecting and demanding of a few parishioners a workload that burns them out as “RCIA team members”.

    Somewhere in the recent history of RCIA (regardless of the country) we seem to have moved away from the concepts of catechesis on the paschal mystery given to us by the early fathers of the church to something that has become topic based catechesis and hoops that everyone wanting initiation need to jump through before the Easter vigil.

  2. Hi Max. Thanks for this great comment! I loved this insight: “By changing my RCIA thinking and “team language” I have created a much simpler and easier workload for myself and others.”

    Keep up the great work.

    Nick

  3. Dominic Bruno

    Max, I’d welcome a chance to talk through what you’ve done in more detail. I’m excited. Can you email me: standrewcff”at”comcast”dot”net

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Enter your email address and click the button below to get started.
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?

Completely transform your RCIA inquiry process with five simple questions

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
11am PST / 2pm EST


"Five Inquiry Questions that Will Shape Your Seekers' Journey of Faith"

Where can we send your free sample?

Welcome to TeamRCIA!

Meet Rita!

Where can we send your free sample?

Be sure you are doing the catechumenate right!

Do your seekers disappear after Easter?
Learn how to form Christians for life.


"RCIA's Six Keys to Making Lifelong Disciples"

Sign up today!

Join over 20,000 subscribers

Enter your email address and click the button below to get started.

Free Training Resource: What to say instead of OCIA

Enter your email address and click the button below to get started.

Creating a Catechumenal CultureAn Amazing Vision
Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping
0