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Christian Initiation

We tend to think that the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (“RCIA”) is just for those adults who wish to become Catholic. But, as the Church teaches us, the RCIA can also provide a model for how we engage in all our catechetical and evangelistic endeavors:
 
“’The model for all catechesis is the baptismal catechumenate … This catechumenal formation should inspire the other forms of catechesis in both their objectives and in their dynamism.” (General Directory for Catechesis, no. 59)
 
What is it about the RCIA that makes it such a rich source of inspiration?

The Important Elements of the RCIA

When the RCIA is functioning as it is fully intended, it is:
  • a gradual unfolding of the mysteries of the faith, punctuated by moments of grace;
  • an organic and systematic presentation of the faith;
  • a liturgical, pastoral, and catechetical experience;
  •  intimately involving the parish community; and
  • deeply kerygmatic (involving the proclamation of the Gospel) and Christocentric (having Christ at the center).
The RCIA is for making disciples. When our parish initiatives for formation and evangelization are modeled after the RCIA, then they have the potential to make disciples, too. This means that a good first step towards renewing your parish is renewing your RCIA process.

How We Can Help

We are happy to work with you to make the RCIA a powerful encounter with Jesus that makes disciples and initiates renewal in your parish. Here are some of the ways that we can do this:
 
  • RCIA Team Training: We can conduct half-day, full-day, or multiple-day formation retreats for your RCIA team, where they will learn more about what the RCIA is and how it can be effectively implemented in a parish.
  • Training on “How to Get 1-on-1” and “How to Lead a Small Group”: RCIA sessions often involve breaking into small groups to discuss what was presented. Sponsors and RCIA team members often also find themselves in important 1-on-1 conversations with candidates and catechumens. We can train you in how to perfect these encounters.
  • Sponsor Training: Sponsors have a unique role to play in the lives of catechumens. We can prepare them for this role.
  • Creating a Topical Calendar: If the RCIA is supposed to proceed gradually, organically, and systematically, then the topics you present and when you present them is very important. We can help you put a calendar of topics together that will allow your candidates and catechumens to get the most out of each stage of the RCIA process.
  • Training on Catechetical Methodology: We can train your RCIA team on methods of teaching that will empower them to teach the faith in a dynamic way that facilitates conversion.
If you don’t see what you need on this list, please contact us! Let’s work together to create the event or experience that your team needs to succeed.

RCIA Resources

Here you will find resources and documents that will assist you with the catechetical and evangelistic aspects of Christian Initiation. For questions about the liturgies and rites of the process, see the Office for Divine Worship and Sacraments.

RCIA

TitleDescriptionDownload
Themes for Sunday's Readings Year C Possible doctrinal topics for Liturgically-based catechesis Year C DownloadPreview
Themes for Sunday's Readings Year B Possible doctrinal topics for Liturgically-based catechesis Year B DownloadPreview
Themes for Sunday's Readings Year A Possible doctrinal topics for Liturgically-based catechesis Year A DownloadPreview
The Initiation of Children of Catechetical Age This document offers parish initiation ministers further insights and ideas gained from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as adapted for children. DownloadPreview
Patoral Considerations for Christian Initiation Document explaining the parish implementation of Christian Initiation DownloadPreview
Ministries in the Parish Christian Initiation Process The journey to conversion and full incorporation into the Body of Christ is multi-dimensional and requires the active support and ministration of the entire community as well as particular ministers. DownloadPreview
Marriage and Christian Initiation This document explains the formal nullity process which needs to be completed prior to celebrating any of the formal rites of the Church. DownloadPreview
How to Honor the Baptism of Candidates This document explains how to recognize and celebrate the efficacy of the baptism of candidates seeking full communion in the Catholic Church. DownloadPreview

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