Is your RCIA open all year-round? Are we catechizing for knowledge or understanding?
I know a lot of catechists who approach their ministry with all the zeal of a foreign missionary, especially when it comes to the RCIA. That was the feeling we all had in our RCIA team when I first joined them 21 years ago. Here was our chance to bring Christ to those who had never had any experience with our faith. This missionary zeal not only drove our team, but it drove our entire approach to the process. Back then, like many parishes, we followed a traditional academic model where everyone started at the same time, and finished at the same time. The problem with this missionary zeal however, is that we left out one very important part of our mission: The needs of the seekers themselves.

Silence—an unlikely step in moving to a year-round RCIA
When we think about moving from a school-year type RCIA program to an ongoing, year-round conversion process, the shift can seem overwhelming. In this post, I want to dispel that notion. Here are two things to keep in mind:

  1. We can take an initial step that doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Take a baby step.
  2. Once we have taken that baby step, our first task is to be silent.

    That seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? How does silence help us implement the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults on a year-round basis?

    Click below for info about upcoming TeamRCIA training institutes!

    Did you know that Nick and Diana are in Panama?

    We've been in the country of Panama in Panama City for the past two months studying Spanish! And we have one more month to go! We're hoping that we can improve our Spanish so that we can begin to provide some assistance for our Spanish-speaking communities. We can't guarantee we'll be fluent after only three months of study and practice, but we are so grateful for all your well-wishes, prayers, and blessings for this endeavor.

    We've been posting videos throughout our stay on the TeamRCIA Facebook page. But even if you're not on Facebook or even if you don't have a Facebook account you can still enjoy these TeamRCIA video updates from Panama at the links below. You don't have to sign up for Facebook; just click the play button for each video. We'll post links to more video updates in our weekly newsletters.

    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: Jaredd Craig | Unsplash
      Contact us
      Nick Wagner

      Diana Macalintal

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