The simple truth about getting more RCIA inquirers

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8 thoughts on “The simple truth about getting more RCIA inquirers”

  1. Marc Cardaronella

    Nice post Nick! I completely agree. I also think this is an area where the parish could pick up more responsibility and the RCIA team could be “let off the hook” so to speak. Although, I’ve often seen pastors with this attitude. I think it’s a little unfair to expect the inquiry team to be the only ones “drumming up new business.” Why should that be the case…just because they’ll be working with them? They are the inquiry team. Their job starts when the people get there. Perhaps there should be an outreach team that’s making invitations. Also, shouldn’t that be the responsibility of every parishioner?

  2. Hi Marc. Thanks for chiming in! I would love it if the rest of the parish would step up and let RCIA teams off the hook. I think some of the most active parishes are working toward that. Often times, however, RCIA team members will ask me how they can find more inquirers. It can be unsatisfying to tell them to get the rest of the parish to start evangelizing. So, if like St. Francis, they start doing some of the heavy lifting themselves, perhaps other parishioners will be drawn to the work of evangelization. And, as you point out, evangelization is everyone’s work, including RCIA team members.

    Thanks for all the great work you are doing in evangelization. You’re an inspiration to the rest of us.

  3. Many people in a parish are in contact with others who ask them about faith, the Pope, the Church. We can equip people in a parish with the ability to reach out and invite. Often ordinary Catholics feel stymied by how to approach others, but equipping them with invitations, brochures, and parish events to draw people, helps them find simple language to invite. The relationship with others is already there.
    I hope this article can help Catholics begin to feel a greater confidence in (1) all that they have to offer modern seekers; and (2) our ability to reach out to others. We Paulists have been thinking about these things for almost 160 years!

  4. Thanks for your wise words Frank. And thanks for all the great work you and the Paulist community have been doing to teach us about evangelization!

  5. Hi – I found this to be so timely! I was helping at the name-tag table on Sunday with a parishioner from the host parish, whose husband had been baptized a few years earlier. The host parish, despite being one of the larger ones in our archdiocese, had only 3 catechumens. The parishioner lamented to me that the parish wasn’t personally reaching out to people, and that there was no follow-through with those that had been baptized (no mystagogia). Due to the noise in the room, and our duties to the people needing nametags, we couldn’t continue our conversation, but I was so tickled to see one of our questions addressed in this blog when I checked my e-mail later in the day. I have “friended” this parishioner on FB, and am going to share this resource with her. Though it is not the parish where I work, I feel obligated to share any helpful information with others in the vineyard. We’re all in this together. : )

  6. Kenneth Trabold

    One subhead in the article mentions ‘using words’, particularly ‘evangelizing’. I agree strongly … but what follows wanders off into the reluctance of Catholics to share their faith. This is not evangelism.

    The core of evangelization is sharing a person, Jesus Christ. Meeting Him will then lead to embracing a church, hopefully the one true faith. Until evangelism is understood in terms of this personal encounter, it will not succeed. The fundametalist Protestants have it right in this regard and until we Catholics get it right, we will continue to be gutted, losing our best, brightest, youngest, and most enthusiastic believers to their churches. The old method going back to Peter still works: conviction of sin and judgment, then salvation in Christ!

  7. I agree…..as a Church, we must be totally welcoming, even to those we see week after week in the pews but have never had any conversation.

    Isn’t it interesting that there are many times while in Church, the only time we exchange greetings is during the Sign of Peace.

    We come together to join in the wonderful celebration of our Lord’s Birth, Passion, Death and Resurrection….let us all rejoice and be thankful.

    Greet each other with the Love and Peace of Jesus Christ.

  8. Excellent post, Nick. Thank you! Couldn’t agree more. Some time ago, Bishop Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix challenged Christians to think about how to tell their personal “story.” We all know that to truly be in Christ is a relationship, not simply jumping through the required hoops, as RCIA is sometimes viewed, to obtain parish membership.

    Once I realized I could tell my “story” in three phrases — Creating Love, Caring Intervention, and Constant Presence — I had business cards printed with the three phrases on one side and nothing but a website link/address on the other. I’ve given these cards to friends, but also to strangers like the man in a grocery store checkout line ahead of me on Ash Wednesday, who asked what happened to my forehead.

    One stone at a time, one card at a time, one person at a time, one day at a time. Thank you again for an excellent article and for your encouragement.

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