Rethinking the core Catholic content as we move to ongoing initiation (year-round RCIA)

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8 thoughts on “Rethinking the core Catholic content as we move to ongoing initiation (year-round RCIA)”

    1. This is a beautiful vision for initiation, but it has big ramifications for all sacramental ministries and for evangelization of all ages. I think this perspective would be especially helpful for Confirmation preparation, which often has an academic, knowledge outcome, focus.

      1. And first communion preparation. And marriage prep. And infant baptism prep. And ordination prep. And lifelong catechesis of the baptized priesthood. We’ll need a couple more lifetimes to accomplish it, though. 🙂

      2. Tom East, I have felt this way for years! I have used the RCIA model for Confirmation preparation. I have received push back from parents because “we never did it like this before.” If Moses could part the Red Sea and Joshua made walls tumble down, I am certain the Spirit of God can melt hearts and open minds of those willing to walk the road to Emmaus — of the entire parish — that all would their need for ongoing faith formation as a faith community

  1. Debbie Walsh

    Switching from ‘program’ to Year-Round RCIA takes a bit of time and needs to be intentionally built. I’ve found that starting with building a “Breaking Open the Word” Team for dismissal effectively includes more parishioners in the RCIA process and often these folks would like to become more involved. That’s where I started forming an “Inquiry Team” and “Catechumenate Team”. Smaller teams helps lighten the workload and captures the vision of a a parish initiating. It takes time and patience but it really works. Within 2-3 years you will have your on-going, year-round catechumenate with an larger pool of people living their baptism.

  2. Richard Joseph Labrecque

    Not sure you have it right. Simply seating in church will not create vibrant Catholics, the liturgical year alone will not suffice. Our RCIA starts with the Trinity – only it explains everything one needs to know to be connected personally. Once one sees these three Persons as reaching out to them and seeking a personal response, then everything starts to make sense and have meaning. Catholics get something out of the liturgical year because they have passed into this new way of looking at everything in one’s life. It all about Jesus and why Father sent Him and how the Holy Spirit opens up the truth of what this life is all about. Too many Catholics are pew sitters who lack this interpersonal relationship to the Trinity. All that we do as Catholics need this basic understanding to have meaning. Could it be that so many drift off from the Faith, including many of our youths, because we have failed to bring them into this personal call from God. Involvement with the community is needed because our foundation as Christians is a call to oneness/family. How well we live this out is what will further cement this faith journey. It is not all academics, but they need this foundation to hang all the depth of the Faith. Cradle Catholics often lack this foundation and so cannot evangelize others beyond offering the liturgical cycle/Mass.

  3. Thank you for this great article! It takes a huge weight to think about RCIA in the way depicted here since I don’t have to be constantly worried if I am imparting all the knowledge “required” to be a Catholic. Don’t even know what that looks like!

  4. The catechumenate is part of our parish’s adult spiritual formation (ASF) “department.” Much of ASF is about adult education classes. It wasn’t until very recently that I realized that the catechumenate is about Spiritual Formation. This is a paradigm shift and moves the process from a discussion of catechisms, dogmas and doctrines to one of spiritual formation through reflection on the Gospel.

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