Is your RCIA team just filling vessels?

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3 thoughts on “Is your RCIA team just filling vessels?”

  1. I learned about RCIA in diaconate training. After I was ordained my pastor asked me to take over RCIA since the previous team dissolved two years before and we had candidates. The first year was all filling vessels. The second year was more intentional but still filling vessels. I attended a Team RCIA weekend in Columbus Ohio last summer. I agree, I was afraid to take risks and very insecure about changing what was already set up in our program before I took it over, until I went to this workshop. I was inspired!

    Here is what it has given me the courage to do: (still a work in progress)

    I have changed from an academic year format to an all year program. This has allowed me time to not have a session every week. One week off a month is good for all of us. It also allows new inquirers to join in at any time of the year.
    I formed a great team of people who love to tell stories. Lots of stories.
    I no longer have an itinerary of subjects scheduled throughout the whole year, but I do work off a curriculum of themes I pull from.
    We incorporate the liturgy and readings for that Sunday in each session and align the the theme of catechesis with the theme or readings of that Mass.
    I incorporate the Emmeus model.
    I am not as worried about covering every detail of catechesis but focus on conversion.
    I use the Ritual texts and prayers to guide how I present the rites beforehand.
    This allows the words of the rite to facilitate conversion in a beautiful way. It s the rite, it’s not me. Why reinvent the wheel.
    The whole team is involved in each rite, signing and surrounding them in front of the congregation.

    There are so many other ways this program needs to grow.
    I need to incorporate all the minor rites to enhance the experience.
    I need to have more team planning meetings.
    I need to have the courage to start dismissing the catechumens after the Word.
    There is probably more, I know there is. One step at a time.

    Even though I was taught all this in diaconate training, it did not become real until this workshop when I heard them tell their stories and I thought I can do this. I have seen great fruit so far. It works the way they told me in the workshop. I give Him all the control.

    Thank you. Blessings and peace!

    Deacon Chris Germak

  2. Thank you! We are looking at making some changes for next year (yes, we are still doing the school-year model) and this has given me inspiration and ideas.
    We were told we don’t introduce our group to Jesus (which I thought we did!) so trying to figure out how to make Jesus more “real” to our individuals so they develop that relationship with him from the beginning.
    Thank you for all of the good work you do – I, for one, appreciate your work. Please keep it up.

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