Also check out this week's video post on conditional baptism
Is your RCIA open all year-round? Do we even need catechetical sessions?
Do you ever find yourself getting frustrated with your whole RCIA process? Sometimes I sure do. Dealing with team members with different ideas, catechumens and candidates who don’t show up, or pastors who want things a particular way that might go contrary to the way you would like. There’s any number of frustrations that go with this ministry and the lead-up to Lent only seems to magnify them.

Now whenever I start to get frustrated about our ministry I usually try to find a good book or workshop from TeamRCIA to help rejuvenate my spirit. Recently I turned to Diana Macalintal’s book Your Parish IS the Curriculum for some guidance, and given that I was getting frustrated with our catechetical process it seemed like a good choice. If the parish is supposed to be the curriculum, if the intent is to have your catechumens and candidates integrate themselves into the life of the parish and involve themselves in the various activities and spiritual growth opportunities already available, then I found myself asking if we even needed to have catechetical sessions for the RCIA. Was I making more work of this than needed?

Why children in the RCIA need a community, not a classroom
If you go to any parish website in North America, you will get the very strong impression that children’s faith is formed in a classroom. Parish websites list expectations describing what children are to have learned by the time they reach each grade level. If you were to actually visit one of these parishes, you would see children sitting in desks, listening to a teacher explain to them the theology of Jesus or of the church that met the learning requirements for each grade. The teacher is likely using a teacher’s version of a textbook that all the children have. The children probably have homework they have to do, and they are likely tested regularly on their mastery of the material.

There are a lot of negative consequences of this model of formation, but here is the one that concerns me the most. More and more these days, parents are not baptizing their babies. When some of those parents later have a change of heart and bring their seven- or eight- or ten-year-old to the parish to get him or her baptized, we treat that child as someone who is behind in school. Instead of rejoicing that the child is at the beginning of an awesome faith journey, we fret (sometimes out loud) about how we are going to "catch him up" with the other children in his grade.

Video post: Conditional Baptism in the RCIA
Right before Lent we get a flurry of questions to address conditional baptism. Is it a big deal? And how should we address it? Check out our latest video post to learn more!
Free Handout: History of the RCIA Scrutinies
This totally free handout includes a brief history of the scrutinies and the three things your RCIA team needs to know. Use this handout for team training or as a bulletin insert. Click below to download it today!
Click below for info about upcoming TeamRCIA training institutes and live events!

Los Angeles Religious Education Congress: Mar 21-24, 2019

Diocese of Bridgeport (bilingual): May 31 - June 1, 2019

Diocese of Manchester: June 7-8, 2019

Diocese of Raleigh (bilingual): June 28-29, 2019

Atlanta Catechists Conference (bilingual): August 16-17, 2019

What you’re saying about TeamRCIA

Our first exposure to a "different way" for our RCIA process at Blessed Sacrament Church in Tonawanda, NY (a suburb of Buffalo) came from a workshop in our area given by Nick and Diana - it was there the seeds were planted. It was because of our attendance at this workshop and the followups that were offered that we were able to take advantage of the many emails and training sessions offered on line; these opportunities allowed us to move along at our own pace of acceptance of the new way of thinking and of the adjustment from a "program" to a "process."


Marguerite Mullins
Blessed Sacrament Parish, Tonawanda (Buffalo) NY
RCIA resource highlight

Your Parish Is the Curriculum: RCIA in the Midst of the Community

Diana Macalintal

We all agree that the community needs to be involved in the RCIA. So we make bulletin and Mass announcements explaining the rites and the RCIA process, hoping the parishioners will "get" their responsibility to initiate these seekers. Then, although catechumens, candidates, sponsors, and team members form a tight-knit community, parishioners still wonder who these people are with their rituals that make the Mass long, and most of the newly initiated still disappear from the parish after Easter.

Taking to heart what the United States bishops said in their document on adult faith formation—"While the parish may have an adult faith formation program, it is no less true that the parish is an adult faith formation program"—Diana Macalintal argues that we have to stop trying to get the parish involved in the RCIA and start getting the catechumens and candidates involved in the parish.

In this book, readers will discover:
  • why doing the RCIA in the midst of the community not only forms seekers into disciples but renews the conversion of the entire parish
  • what parishioners can do to take responsibility for the initiation of adults, without adding another meeting to their lives
  • how to use the four key areas of parish life and the liturgical year to introduce seekers to Christ and train them in the Christian way of life
  • the three levels of catechesis and how to use mystagogical reflection on parish life to provide a systematic and complete catechesis appropriate for each level.

    When you make your parish the RCIA curriculum, you will be shaping not just a group of people but an entire community into lifelong disciples.

    In Your Parish is the Curriculum: RCIA In the Midst of the Community Diana Macalintal offers a practical and engaging vision for parishes as communities of discipleship that accompany people at all stages of their faith journey through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. In an accessible and down-to-earth manner she outlines principles, suggestions and ideas to help parishes-both those who are new to the RCIA process and those who are veterans-to facilitate and foster conversion. —Julianne Stanz, Director of New Evangelization, Diocese of Green Bay

    Your price: $19.95 $18.95

    A complete catechesis for Christian life
    Free sample of Faith, Life & Creed
    Click button to learn more
    Resources for your team
    Apprenticed to Christ: Activities for Practicing the Catholic Way of Life
    Jerry Galipeau

    Price: $16.95
    Your price: $16.10
    Field Hospital Catechesis: The Core Content for RCIA Formation
    Nick Wagner

    Price: $16.95
    Your price: $16.10
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    Photo credits: Igor Rodrigues | Unsplash; Trust Tru Katsande | Unsplash
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