What do RCIA teams do with the elect now that baptisms are postponed?

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2 thoughts on “What do RCIA teams do with the elect now that baptisms are postponed?”

  1. I was a catechist/coordinator in the RCIA process in our Parish for 20 years. We were a year-round, whenever-you’re-ready process. If it worked out to include The Vigil, we were most pleased. However, often the ‘time’ the candidates entered and the ‘time’ they needed to develop their relationship with Our Lord and the’time’ they needed to accept in their hearts the teachings and wisdom of the Church and what discipleship would look like in their lives, often didn’t fit a vigorous schedule of lectures driven by yearly liturgical calendar pressures. With some obvious Liturgical exceptions, we brought folks into the Church when they were ready. Probably the most pro-active thing we did was during our first interview with a Candidate was telling them we weren’t certain when they’d be “finished”; it all depended on how The Holy Spirit designed their formation in length and depth. Interestingly, our Team would somehow come to the same conclusion of WHEN at about the same time during each individual’s formation! Sometimes it took a year from their entry, sometimes a little more, sometimes less. We only had a Team of 3 people and while we were stretched to walk with each person at their own pace yet often within group sessions and activities God gave us what we needed………focus,energy, patience and humility. We often had Inquiry, the Catechumenate and Mystagogy going in different places simultaneously! Our Team learned to tap into our creativity to adapt each phase either to the time of year and/or what their upcoming Rites might be or within a Mystagogical or ministry setting. Our Team certainly learned discipleship and the joy of partnering with the Holy Spirit in the formation of the Candidates! As I look now at this time of year and the adaptations that must be made in RCIA, I think this is a GOOD thing. Those doing the calendar-year model might see the value of a year-round process and muster the courage to deal with the sometimes ‘messiness’ of it in anticipation of the beauty it offers as it forms the Candidates in ways they couldn’t see or understand. And, as a bonus, they would also see how adaptable a year-round process is to developments and circumstances that come up beyond anyone’s control.
    Let us all look upon this virus as an opportunity to admit we are not in charge and put ourselves in the capable hands of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work with HIS agenda and in HIS time for the good of our Candidates and Catechumens and for all the RCIA teams struggling during this difficult time. My prayers go out to all of you as I know your fondest desire is for only the best for everyone!

  2. I am thankful for the sentiments expressed in this article. At this time of forced social distancing and physical isolation, I find that it’s all too easy for me, as a catechist, to “retreat” into a routine that only weakly models those four types of Christian behavior you mention. A few weeks ago one of our catechumens suggested that we could organize weekly Zoom videoconferences in place of the usual weekly RCIA dismissals and meetings. We are trying to do that in my parish. It seems doing something is better than doing nothing….. yet are we doing anything that truly forms our seekers, that makes real the life of disciples of Jesus, that somehow demonstrates how Christians live when faced with adversity? These are questions to ponder as we eagerly anticipate Easter and all its glory!

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