Is your RCIA open all year-round? It’s easier than you think

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6 thoughts on “Is your RCIA open all year-round? It’s easier than you think”

  1. Just a comment that I am very excited for this series! I started a position as DRE last summer in a large parish, but our RCIA team had been disbanded when I arrived. So I’ve tried to restart the program but it took several months to get rolling, and I’m trying to open up our Wednesday sessions as general adult faith formation. Everyone’s schedule is so different and life is so hectic with kids, health, and work… it has been very challenging to get a group together and I am looking for tips to create a cohort while still being flexible for individual needs without spending all my time on RCIA.

  2. At Saint Rita of Cascia Parish in Aurora, Illinois we have been working for 3 years to implement a year-round Catechumenate. We began with a monthly session to pray, read a little scripture and share how God has been working in our lives. Those that attend are then given a small book of prayers and asked to pray at least 5 minutes every day. We also encourage them to attend Mass every weekend. We watch for them and greet them when we see them at Mass. We also invite them to any events happening in the parish during the following month.
    They are also invited to the next monthly discovery session. As we can manage it we do a personal interview to find out their individual needs and desires. As we gather a small group with the same needs we begin weekly faith sharing groups using the Bible and the Adult Catechism as resource books. We always help them realize that the Mass is their classroom and begin all sharing with reflections on the past Sunday’s liturgy. e also incorporate parish events into the sharing sessions as is possible.
    We are still learning but it has been a very positive journey. It is always a little different as we go along. No group of people is exactly he same and no one can say exactly when each is ready to receive whatever Sacrament they need.

  3. We started the year around process two years ago this coming April. It took us almost a year to come up with what would work for us.

    Basically we have 4 Inquiry cycles each year with every meeting open to new inquirers. The secret I think has been to make sure that it is a very welcoming session. Every time someone new comes we stop and go around and introduce everyone. I ask 3 questions: What is your name? Have you been baptized? Why are you here? During the following sessions people open up, but knowing they are with all kinds of people who may be like them has proven fruitful.

    One of our challenges is that we have been so successful with people entering at their own time that we have been having a lot of Rites of Acceptance and Welcome during the year as well as people coming into the church.

    Our pastor has been very supportive and the teams we have: Inquiry, RCIA, Purification and Enlightenment, Hospitality, Dismissal, Mystagogy and a new one called Mentoring for people who have difficulty coming to regular sessions because of work or other problems have helped us be successful. We also have a leadership team to make sure we are going in the right direction and to help discern what we need to make the program a success..

    The RCIA sessions are videoed every week so if someone misses a session they can log into our parish website and watch the witness, announcements and session topics.

    We have a revolving set of topics, about 48 that are part of the RCIA portion and 11 that comprise the Inquiry.

    We have seen growth in the people who have entered the church. We have 4 who are enrolled in advanced degrees programs in Theology at several Universities and many are now in ministries in our parish.

    I thank all of you at Team RCIA for all the helpful topics I have followed. Keep up the good work.

  4. Thank you John. Eager to see how a whole year of R.C.I.A. would unfold.

    Just wondering… I have heard the following comment so often that I have decided today is the day to put my thoughts to paper.

    In your bio I see the words “…when I got married”

    When we go to the store we get groceries, When we go to a wedding we go to MARRY or to attend a wedding.
    In the sacrament of marriage the couple are the ministers. The priest is the presider and a witness.
    (I hear people say “The minister will marry us” but he doesn’t. We marry each other… The couple each declare their vows to the other. )

    So, perhaps a more accurate way of speaking about marriage (instead of “We GOT married..or we are going to GET married)
    is simply to say When we marry……. We will be marrying……I married…______________.After marrying __________________

    I know it sounds picky but I think the shift in words shifts our understanding of marriage, emphasizing the couples role as well as their dignity.

    I’m interested in your comments.

  5. Here in Gilroy, Saint Mary’s, we struggle with this annually. We are trying to establish quarterly reunions to continue mystagogy. We hold monthly inquiry sessions in June, July, & August. I am happy to say that our front office refers inquirers to our team; they are not told to come back in the fall. We interview year-round and I find prospective candidates in my baptism and marriage prep work. I like the description of a sponsor scout and we will try to implement this ministry.

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