Episode 85: Six rooms your RCIA process must have

2 thoughts on “Episode 85: Six rooms your RCIA process must have”

  1. I’ve been recognizing the need to integrate our candidates/catechumens into the regular activities of the parish instead of isolating them into their own session on their own night.
    However, I’ve also seen catechumens develop community among themselves, all being a bit nervous and new. In the process you are recommending, are the catechumens ever grouped together (outside of dismissal sessions and rites)?
    I want to try this, but I’ve never witnessed a parish actually doing it. Every parish I’ve encountered treats RCIA as a special group/class.

  2. Dominic
    As I see it, our catechumens are constantly moving between the community, story and changing rooms. As you note the catechumens and candidates are in the community room when they are participating in parish activities, particularly the social ones where they have an opportunity to mix with and meet a large number of the community. As an example in my parish we have a regular social gathering after the 9am Sunday Mass with coffee, tea and food. We use this as a major strategy to introduce catechumens and candidates to the community.
    In my case I see the story room as having two regular but distinct activities – dismissal and catechetical sessions.
    In our dismissal sessions we only have catechumens and a parishioner acting as dismissal leader. The discussion in this session is focused exclusively on the readings of the day to enable the catechumens to discover ways to go to the changing room. Note this is not a catechetical session (RCIAQ #67.A –“remain together to share their joy and spiritual experiences”) but a total focus on what they have just experienced in the liturgy of the word.
    We have separate catechetical sessions, as in RCIA #75.1, that have not only the catechumens but their sponsor, some extra team members, a catechist, and maybe an interested parishioner. This session is also in the story room, but distinct from the dismissal session. The focus this time is on the stories in scripture, traditions and teachings of the Church and lives of the saints that will also enable catechumens to keep going to the changing room.
    We see our candidates as being on a distinct separate pathway to catechumens, and regardless of how “uncatechised” they may be, we usually do not have them participate with catechumen catechetical sessions. We tailor an individual journey with appropriate catechetical sessions for each candidate. However, the candidates are also using the community, story and changing rooms as well.
    I hope my experiences are useful to you.

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