50 ideas for RCIA teams during the pandemic

Evangelization and outreach

  1. Host a weekly or monthly online chat on “What Catholics Think about _______.” Fill in the blank with common questions about Catholics or else whatever is in the news right now. For example:
    • What Catholics Think about the Bible
    • What Catholics Think about Saints
    • What Catholics Think about Climate Change
    • What Catholics Think about Heaven
    • What Catholics Think about Black Lives Matter
    • What Catholics Think about Loneliness
    • What Catholics Think about Unemployment
    • What Catholics Think about Mary
    • What Catholics Think about the Pandemic
  1. Host an online First Friday discussion on Catholic Social Teaching.
  2. Host a weekly online prayer breakfast for the needs of anyone in your city. Post invitations on Facebook, Nextdoor.com, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and TikTok.
  3. Include your seekers and parishioners in a weekly letter writing party to send notes of support to neighbors who are homebound or hospitalized.
  4. Create a 30-day Justice and Mercy Challenge.
  5. Have the RCIA team members, parish staff, and parishioners record one-minute faith testimonial videos and post online.
  6. If your more advanced seekers are comfortable with it, have them do the same.
  7. For those who are shy, create an online page for written testimonies.
  8. Within your local health guidelines, work with sponsors to assist seekers in volunteering at your local food pantry or St. Vincent De Paul center.
  9. Ask parishioners to bake breads, cakes, or cookies. Within your local health guidelines, work with sponsors to assist seekers in delivering the baked goods to neighbors, shut-ins, and nursing homes.
  10. If you get new inquirers during the pandemic, discern their faith formation plan with them during a few video chats or a socially-distanced face-to-face meetings.
  11. Send a weekly text or e-mail to seekers that focuses on one of the works of mercy.
  12. Get creative about reaching out during the pandemic.

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Word and Tradition

  1. Host an online Bible study: https://littlerockscripture.org/SpecialResources
  2. Host a weekly reading and discussion of one of Pope Francis’s letters. Here are two of the best:
  1. Send a text message or e-mail with a line or two about the saint of the day: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/source/saint-of-the-day/
  2. Host an online dessert party every week or every month to celebrate the name days of all of your seekers whose patron saint memorials fall in that week or month.
  3. Host an every-Sunday mystagogical reflection on the Scripture readings from Mass.
  4. Plan a Bible scavenger hunt for families.
  5. Host a monthly Catholic trivia
  6. Embrace “Pajama Catechesis.”
  7. Reflect with your RCIA team on how to catechize the elect if initiation is delayed.
  8. In small online groups, reflect with your seekers on the Sunday readings.
  9. Let go of the school model of catechesis. Focus on the most important thing.
  10. As an RCIA team, brush up on your discernment skills.


  1. Email or text a daily or weekly message from the pastor to the seekers.
  2. Host a Netflix watch party with seekers and their families. Here are some films to consider:
    • The Pursuit of Happyness
    • My Life as a Zucchini
    • Mary Poppins Returns
    • The King’s Speech
    • Miracle
    • Same Kind of Different as Me
  1. Host a weekly or monthly coffee hour or happy hour with your seekers.
  2. Work with your sponsors to create simple gift baskets for your seekers and drop them off at their doorsteps.
  3. Working with your sponsors, teach the seekers how to examine their consciences.
  4. Host a weekly or monthly online game night with your seekers.
  5. Be sure your sponsors are phone-chatting or video-chatting with the seekers at least once a week.
  6. Encourage the RCIA team, sponsors, and seekers to make Sunday dinner (or Sunday brunch) a priority. Share pictures with each other of your meals.
  7. Create a “mystagogical itinerary” for your parish.

Prayer and Worship

  1. Remind all the sponsors of the importance of “bringing” their seekers to online Sunday liturgy (or in-person liturgy is that is an option in your area).
  2. Host a monthly online Rosary.
  3. Ask your sponsors to pray lectio divina with their seekers.
  4. Pray the Stations of the Cross with your seekers.
  5. Host a virtual adoration.
  6. Help seekers create a prayer space in their homes.
  7. Asks sponsors to commit to praying with their spouses and encourage their seekers to do the same.
  8. Pray with seekers who are struggling.
  9. Celebrate blessings with your seekers.
  10. Create a 30-day prayer challenge.
  11. Pray an online litany.
  12. Host a weekly or monthly prayer to overcome fears or worries.
  13. Pray with those whose initiation has been delayed.
  14. Create a plan for celebrating the RCIA rites.
  15. Celebrate the scrutinies and presentations with the elect.
  16. Celebrate initiation with the elect.

Your turn

What new ideas are you trying this fall? Which of the ideas listed here are you considering? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  1. Thank you for all the great idea’s I did not think about all the events that are possible to have in a parish. Once again you have exceeded my expectations of how we can have a vibrant community in a pandemic world.

  2. Simon and Garfunkel sang of Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover. I read here that you are proposing Fifty Ways to Be a Lover………….. It is great to see such a list. Encouraging because we already have many in place… challenging with a model that will allow us to take it up a notch…….. appreciated as yet another tool………… I’m excited to move on and propose we embrace a few more of these possibilities;
    Many thanks and God bless!

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