What commitment is your RCIA prioritizing?
In a recent post, I pointed out that the Decree on the Apostate of the Laity from the Second Vatican Council instructs that we who are members of the royal priesthood should be especially focused on social action (see paragraph 7). I then drew the conclusion that if our RCIA processes are not making this clear to the catechumens — who are about to join the royal priesthood — we need to reorient our formation processes to prepare them for this mission.

According to the United States bishops, this mandate "is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice."

The US bishops went on to say, "Catholic social teaching is built on a commitment to the poor. This commitment arises from our experiences of Christ in the eucharist."

The US bishops then quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "To receive in truth the Body and Blood of Christ given up for us, we must recognize Christ in the poorest, his brethren" (no. 1397).

What research says about teaching adults in the RCIA
Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Confucius, Cicero, and Jesus all have two things in common. They were all great teachers. And they didn’t teach children. Even so, as ancient as society’s emphasis on adult education has been, there is surprising little research on how to effectively educate adults. The first academic studies began to emerge in the 1920s. The research tells us some interesting things about the way adults learn.

You may have heard the phrase, "Experience is the best teacher." For adults, that turns out to be true. Adults learn through experience. Experience alone won’t always provide expertise, however. The key is to reflect on new experience in a disciplined way, perhaps with the guidance of a mentor, to develop mastery.
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What you’re saying about TeamRCIA

Dear Diana and Nick,

We had a RCIA team meeting last night and it feels GREAT to have people willing to walk with our candidates and catechumens who actually have an understanding of this model!  Thank you SO much for all your support, your work is already having a tremendous impact on our community.

Emily Burt
St. Mary Immaculate Parish

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
    Mystagogy of the Eucharist: A Resource for Faith Formation
    Gilbert Ostdiek, OFM

    Price: $14.20
    The Work of Your Hands: Prayers for Ordinary and Extraordinary Moments of Grace
    Diana Macalintal

    Price: $7.95 $7.55
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    Photo credits: Nina Strehl | Unsplash
    Contact us
    Nick Wagner

    Diana Macalintal

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