Do we need the RCIA?

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7 thoughts on “Do we need the RCIA?”

  1. Greetings Team RCIA,

    Thank you for this article and your wonderful website of resources.

    I live in the Middle East and we have an RCIA program in place. We also have sacramental preparations for Infant baptism, Marriage prep and Adult Confirmation.

    We hold 22 Masses per weekend, 15 in English + other languages and thriving. But when it comes to preparation of sacraments everyone wants the “fast track.” As your article states about the complaining adult of baptismal prep.

    Most of the reasons persons wanting to receivie sacraments are for the purpose of Marriage. Sacrament of Confirmation (and if a non Catholic for Sacraments of initiation) is seen only as a requirement for marriage, and they complain of the “process.”

    Some of our priests have allowed civilly married couples to have their children baptized in the church and if they want their marriage blessed must undergo the “process.” Sponsors/Godparents were also not given background checks and found to be friends of other denominations even if its a minimum requirement of one.

    As you say we are to make disciples not give them rules and regulations. Our struggles have been in the approach, cultural, curriculum and recruitment of catechists. Most catechists are intimated by adults and would rather teach children.

    But the Holy Spirit is merciful and our program is still alive!!

    Your site gives encouragement and helpful approaches in learning and training.

    Thank you

  2. Nick, I think the common thread with Panama and here is that there are people who are willing to be disciples and to be used by God to bring others to Christ. The methods are different in different cultures but the desire to bring others into a relationship with Christ is the same. The Holy Spirit is present!

    You mention that we need the RCIA but more importantly, you need us. I would add that we in the RCIA need Team RCIA. I cannot imagine being involved in RCIA without the amazing tools that you and Diana and your team have provided over the years. I’m very grateful. Blessings as you continue to serve our Lord.

  3. This article should be shared with those working in Hispanic Ministry. Maybe this is one reason why it is so hard to get Hispanic kids to CCD on a regular basis, to have participants for the RCIA process for Hispanic adults, to get Hispanics to come forward to their other sacraments. Their faith, their love of the heart of Jesus is very strong at home and with each other.

    I asked a high school graduated Hispanic male and his 8th grade brother in our RCIA evening program what their prayer life is like at home. They answered that every time they leave their house they stand at their home alter and pray to the statue of Mary. I asked why this prayer? They said it is for protection as they go out into the world. Their mom taught them this when they were very young. I asked what else is on this home alter and they told me holy cards and a rosaries.

    Is it right to make them come to months of classes? Something to ponder…
    Karen Melendez

  4. Nick and Diana, Welcome Home. I am sure that your time in Panama has inspired, nurtured and enlightened you that You are needed here and it is the Spirit that has gifted you and works through you to walk with Catechumenate Ministry Leaders who give themselves wholeheartedly to the process of making Disciples.
    Over the years that I have been involved with the RCIA, which goes back to the seventies, I have always been a strong supporter of the RCIA as a process. I have worked diligently over the past 20 years, I believe successfully implementing this process in my present parish, and I have to admit that every years brings on new challenges and direction inspired by the Holy Spirit. I have gone from insisting that all participants must participate in the RCIA for at least one full year to letting go and letting the Spirit do the work. I have realized that most of the Candidates we work with are already catechized and need little preparation to receive the Sacraments. Once we stopped combining the Rites and only had Catechumens at the Easter Vigil it became clearer to us that the Profession of Faith throughout the year was the right way to proceed. Messy, yes; rewarding, by all means, knowing that it is the work of the Holy Spirit and not myself who is in control.
    I could write a book on the stores of the many Candidates and Catechumens who have journeyed through this process and thank God for the gift that He has entrusted in me to walk this journey with his people.

  5. Daniel Benedict

    Diana, thanks for all of your work and this good article. What a radical calling Christ Jesus sets before us as we live into making disciples of all nations.
    Daniel

  6. Wow! Thanks for the affirmation, Nick! I do believe the Holy Spirit has put me at St. Ben’s.

    I think one of the tools we have is the liturgical rites. I think we do the rites well and that helps form disciples. Along with that we have good preaching. As you said, good preaching is key!

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