RCIA: How a Year-Round Model Works
More and more parishes are seeing the benefits of engaging a year round RCIA, but some pastors are hesitant. They pause because they likely have never seen it in action. What does a year round RCIA look like?
Year round RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) first and foremost puts forth the reality that this is a rite and a formation process. RCIA is not a class. You don’t graduate RCIA. Through the rite you are formed as a Catholic catechetically, pastorally, and liturgically. Therefore, by the time a person receives the sacraments they have moved beyond whatever initial motivation they had to consider the Catholic Faith and into a fully convinced and lived faith life AS a Catholic.
On a calendar, it may look like two or three groups each year going through the rite. Perhaps one starts in June and another in January. Spacing them out will allow the RCIA to plug in inquirers when they express interest rather than tell them to wait till next year or rush them through “make up classes”. This is part of the pastoral nature of the RCIA. We must give inquirers and candidates ample opportunities to grasp (and wrestle) the full Catholic life.
RCIA takes catechists. It would be difficult for a pastor to do this on his own, though many do. In order to facilitate RCIA properly, it is best to have a team of trained catechists who can assist in all aspects of the rite (catechetical, pastoral, liturgical). Not only does this help Father, it also helps connect the inquirer to the parish community. Catechists must be properly formed as well, found faithful to the Magisterium, lest they mislead the inquirer, even unintentionally. For this reason, we have all new catechists shadow the teachers each night while continuing to serve with them in the other aspects. In this way, they learn as they serve and are tempered as teachers themselves. Along the way, we get them talking through small group discussions, sharing their own Christian testimony and facilitating prayer.
More on this soon! Tell us about your RCIA. What are you doing?
Posted on October 21, 2014, in Catholic Belief, Catholic Community, Catholic Convert, Full Disclosure Evangelism, Personal Witness, RCIA, Sacraments of the Catholic Church and tagged christian initiation, Rcia, year long rcia, year round inquirer. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.