holiness

The first step in catechumenate formation is to recover our “capacity for symbol”

“How can we grow in our capacity to live in full the liturgical action?” asks Pope Francis in his June 29 apostolic letter on liturgical formation. “How do we continue to let ourselves be amazed at what happens in the celebration under our very eyes?” (31). I think this may be the most important question …

The first step in catechumenate formation is to recover our “capacity for symbol”

You get what you measure: What the new translation of the Rite (Order) of Christian Initiation of Adults means by “conversion”

I once had to call an online shoe company about a problem with my order, and I was dreading it. These days, you don’t get to talk to a human. You have to “press or say” numbers in response to robotic questions. But I had no choice. I took a deep breath and dialed the …

You get what you measure: What the new translation of the Rite (Order) of Christian Initiation of Adults means by “conversion”

Frequently asked questions about the RCIA dismissal of catechumens

Isn’t it inhospitable to dismiss catechumens from Mass? Everyone is dismissed from Mass. When we are dismissed depends upon which order of the church we belong to. In the early church, there were several orders of participants in the liturgy who were dismissed, all at different times: catechumens, energoumens (those possessed by demons), penitents, and …

Frequently asked questions about the RCIA dismissal of catechumens

The pandemic and three unspoken RCIA assumptions

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely disrupted our liturgical life. And that disruption has uncovered some previously unspoken assumptions about liturgy and the rites for catechumens. In a recent article in America magazine, for example, Anthony R. Lusvardi, SJ, writes about his struggles with presiding at streamed liturgies.  The main point he wants to make is …

The pandemic and three unspoken RCIA assumptions

RCIA in the Easter Season: How to continue forming elect, catechumens, and candidates

Michael Marchal is a retired teacher of high school English and college philosophy. He has worked with the RCIA in his parish since 1976 and has written three books on different aspects of the process. Later this spring his latest work, Reborn in the Spirit: Preparing At Home for Infant Baptism was coauthored with Jane …

RCIA in the Easter Season: How to continue forming elect, catechumens, and candidates

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

Many parishes organize their catechumenate ministry on a school-year model. While this is not the vision of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, it is nevertheless a reality in many communities. However, the isolation and distancing requirements of the coronavirus outbreak have disrupted that model. And now, we’re feeling a little panicked. What in …

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

A few things you probably didn’t know about the scrutinies

There is no explicit “scrutiny” in the scrutinies In the early church, the bishop would publicly inquire of the godparents if their elect had been living a Christian life. That doesn’t happen in the current rite. Instead, the elect are “scrutinized” by hearing the proclamation of God’s word. There is an exorcism, but it’s not …

A few things you probably didn’t know about the scrutinies

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