Over the two years (yes, two years!) I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve written a number of posts on the RCIA. I still think this is one of the processes in the Church that is barely understood in many, many parishes. ACM resources are fantastic in emphasising that RCIA is not just a doctrinal process, but also a liturgical and pastoral one. I think they are the best resources we have to help priests and catechists create a life-transforming RCIA process in the parish. However, you need a huge amount of patience and dedication to read and understand the principles and methodology behind them, and I think you need more than this, too: great RCIA leaders will have a round-the-clock passion for helping souls convert to Christ.
In the three and a half years I worked in the parish coordinating RCIA, I was blessed with the opportunity and support to get to grips with a true vision for RCIA. We already had an excellent doctrinal process. But our vision was to create a process that had liturgical gateways marking stages of conversion; that had pastoral flexibility in allowing people the time they needed in each phase; that had a large team of committed sponsors dedicated to help the conversion process.
Here, I have pulled together in one post all the posts on RCIA I wrote over that time. They may be helpful either practically, for those trying to implement a true vision of RCIA in their parish, or theoretically, to help you grasp the vision.
A couple of disclaimers: Firstly, not all the posts are systematic; some are reflections which may not be exhaustive, but hopefully give some ideas. Secondly, they are not chronological. Sometimes I have written about the period of enquiry with one particular group of people, but what I have written for a later period (e.g. the Rite of Election) is with another group. Probably about five different groups of people passed through this process (which shows you need different starting points through the year).
What I hope you get from these few posts is that RCIA is messy! We can make very nice, neat structures (and it’s important what we do is ordered towards an end and is systematic) but at the end of the day, people are messy and RCIA needs to be flexible. Isn’t that what Pope Francis said recently?! “Make a mess!”
- An overview of the structure of RCIA
- Top Ten RCIA Traps!
- From the very first moment: Meeting the enquirer the first time they make contact
- Enquiry sessions – a year-round period of evangelisation
- Proclaiming the Kerygma
- Motives for Conversion
- The pastoral role of the Sponsor
- Starting out…
- Liturgical Steps and Discernment Interviews: Rite of Acceptance
- Slow Evangelisation…
- Catechesis of the Catechumenate
- Telling the whole Story
- Catechumenate and Natural Family Planning
- Life in Christ: One and Two
- Contraception, Cohabitation, and the Catechumenate
- The Challenge of Conversion
- The Rite of Election: “I have chosen you”
- Period of Purification and Enlightenment: Preparing Candidates
- Preparing Adults for Confession
- The Triduum
- Period of Mystagogia
- Easter Catechesis