The one, most important thing we have to teach in the RCIA

5 thoughts on “The one, most important thing we have to teach in the RCIA”

  1. All I can say is “Amen!” If the inquirers do not experience an encounter with Jesus Christ, they may as well join a secular club. The main difference that the Church offers is a transformative encounter with the living Christ. Thank you for constantly reminding us of this great truth.

  2. Edward Francis Horski

    Here’s to that and a simple thanks for your vigilant, genuine and helpful work and thoughtfulness that continues to inspire a continued resource for renewal of Christian initiation at our parishes. We need this discussion and focus to continue to help accompany those searching for ‘faith today and finding Christ Jesus in the treasure of our Catholic tradition’ (Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP).


    In my short journey as an RCIA catechist, I’ve basically come to the conclusion that Pope Francis says must ring out of our lips over and over: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you”. Amen! Amen!

    Also, I went to a Catholic university in the late ’70s/early ’80s (and subsequently was in the seminary for a short while), and learned the word “Christocentric”. It had a powerful impact on me, but I don’t think I’ve heard it spoken in all these many decades since. It is near and dear to my heart! Thank you for speaking it again!

    I look forward to receiving your newsletters every week! Thank you!

  4. There is another principle of catechesis and evangelization: Meet people where they are. Where many, if not most Inquirers are is a period of questions. They want to know 10+ years experience as a RCIA catechist) among other things: 1) What is Faith? Is religious practice sensible/reasonable? 2) Who Jesus is? Who is the Christ? Is the Catholic Church the intentional church of Jesus Christ?

    Where people are now in contemporary American society is a desire for a loose structure so that they know that and how to reorient their life to Christ. They person needs to know when they start RCIA that their life will be overturned and given to the Lord in a variety of ways. Also, the schedule emphasizes for the completely unchurched or the unbaptized (but curoious about Jesus and the Church) the primordial importance of Easter and the fact of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. There is nothing inherently wrong with a “schedule” ; how the the schedule is structured and presented (is there flexibility to adapt to individual circumstance?) is more important that being schedule -phobic.

    The Inquiry/Evangelization/Precatechumenate phase is venerable and works for many (most) as it establishes who Christians become disciples for (Jesus Christ), through Jesus’s Church that is the depository of the fullness of the Faith.

    More simply: Inquiry answers who is Christ and the Church, this is the necessary foundational step before the relationship encounter is fully engaged in the Catechumenate and Enlightenment -Purification phases. When reading the RCIA tired book this structure makes complete sense. We will continue in this very orthodox process in our parish.

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