Does your RCIA teach one baptism — in both words and actions?

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7 thoughts on “Does your RCIA teach one baptism — in both words and actions?”

  1. isn’t it interesting…that even though we recite the same creed…we use this Creed to bring baptized Christians from other faith traditions into the Catholic Church. Any words of wisdom about this?

  2. Hi Joann. The person who is to be received into full communion recites the Creed with the community, but it is not the recitation of the Creed that effects the person’s reception. It is the “Act of Reception,” which the minister says after the Profession of Faith. See RCIA 492.

  3. Because of our resources, we place baptized Christians in the same sessions as the Catechumen. However we have adapted our approach to take those differences and make them into teaching experiences. It has allowed us a wonderful opportunity to introduce seekers to the Cannon and explain how each individual situation is different, why some can be received earlier, or why some go through the scrutinies but others don’t. etc.

    In addition, we do no combine the rites of welcome and acceptance. Must of our candidates however, do appreciate the rite of welcome as, in my experience, gives them a sense of belonging and inclusion that they seek.

    We are now working on not dismissing candidates. Logistically, this has been challenging thus far.

  4. PLACING BAPTIZED SEEKERS IN THE CATECHUMENATE: question for you Nick. In what preparation process would you put someone who was baptized as Catholic in infancy but never went to Mass all his/her life, uncatechized. There may be only one or two at the most of them and the rest are unbaptized. Should we separate from the catechumens this one (or two) baptized Catholic who needs to complete the initiation process?

    1. Hi Julia. There is no perfect answer. As Martha says above, sometimes resources limit us in being able to carry out the ideal vision presented in the rite. If I had your situation, I would probably include Catholics who have zero experience with church in the catechumenate. But, as Martha points out, I would also take that opportunity to explain how each situation is different, and that the baptized candidates might complete their initiation at a time other than the Easter Vigil.

  5. This article is VERY important. I am Episcopalian with strong connections to the Roman Catholic branch of THE CHURCH. I minister in the RCIA for years and am now the catechumenate director at an Episcopalian cathedral. Over and over, on blogs and in person, I hear Roman Catholics talk about being baptized into the Catholic Church and professing the “one-true church” erroneous doctrine (read Vatican II for a correct Roman Catholic statement of the relationship with other Christian denominations). As St. Paul reminds us, we are all baptized into the Body of Christ.

    By the way, Episcopalians/Anglicans recognize Roman Catholic confirmations and do not “re-confirm.” That is not a two-way street because Roman Catholics do not recognize Anglican bishops. Furthermore, most Episcopalian parishes welcome everyone who is baptized to communion. Again…how seriously do we take the baptism into the Body of Christ?

    Thank you for the article. You are correct…proper use of the process and the rites can help clear up the confusion.

  6. Bishop Gerald Barnes from the Diocese of San Bernardino has taken this separation of catechumens from candidates seriously and has asked all parishes to catechize and initiate candidates into the faith in such a way that the parish congregation understands the different status of those coming into the church. We no longer combine the Rite of Election ( in a vicariate group with the bishop) with the Call to Continuing Conversion( we do this a the local parish level) and candidates receive their Profession of Faith, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist at appropriate times in their conversion journey, but not at Easter Vigil (reserved for catechumens only).

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