"New Translation Thursday" greetings from Chicago; I flew into O'Hare about an hour ago and am now at my desk.
The last two days were amazing ones in the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, at their Saint John Neumann Diocesan Center, pictured here:
Four diocesan offices had decided, after surveying the parishes of the diocese, that a series of training/re-training events were needed on the topic of the RCIA. So that everyone was on the same page, they invited me to come to the diocese and give four workshops; actually one workshop given four times. Tuesday's two and a half hour workshops were geared to the clergy of the diocese. Yesterday's were geared toward the lay ecclesial ministers. The content of the presentations was identical. When I first considered doing these, I wondered what it would be like to do the same workshop four times in two days. Well, I must say that I think it went pretty well. The enthusiasm from the lay ministers, particularly, was infectious. But I thought it was a great thing that everyone heard the same message.
Too often, there is a clash in parishes; a clash between the lay people who attend RCIA workshops, seminars, and institutes, and their pastors. For many priests, the RCIA was either not taught in the seminary or was an elective. So, while the priest may have a solid grouding in sacramental theology, the principles and movements of the RCIA may in fact be somewhat of a mystery to him. I thought what this diocese did was a very smart thing. And there was representation from more than half the parishes in the diocese. Bravo, Metuchen!
Feeling invigorated by all of this and feeling challenged to be more of an evangelizer at my parish and beyond.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.