Friday, February 21, 2014

Parish Formation: Your Help, Please?

Friday greetings to all. We had quite a melting day here in Chicago yesterday. Watch this cool video of the Chicago river taken from above yesterday. (You will, of course, need to watch an advertisement first!)

This week's discussion regarding the RCIA prompted a friend and colleague to ask me this question:

In your work and travels, I am wondering what you are hearing in the way of parishes in the US or CAN where they are working on full parish formation/catechesis/apprenticeship as opposed to individual Sacramental preparation. 

Frankly, I could not come up with an answer for her, so I am asking you the same question. Any thoughts out there?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Terri said...

My personal experience is limited to four parishes but my circle of friends in the trenches crosses over a number of state boundaries. The common threads I've heard: If the parish owns the process, the timeline for full initiation doesn't matter...the seekers get fully initiated because the parish envelops them. The folks who come looking for a means to an end will "shop" parishes for the most convenient expedient way to the sacrament. My personal experience tells me that the hook is in the interview experience. Even when I get someone seeking a "fast track", if I can get them to understand that they are asking me to help them understand 2000 years of Church teaching and tradition in 75 hours or less...they usually begin to buy into the necessity of the longer formation process. But I'd be lying if I said that were always true. A recent first phone conversation with a Hindu Baptist married to a non-practicing Catholic by a justice of the peace did not result in an easy "buy-in" but she left the conversation saying she would further discuss things with her husband and thanked me for showing her a "whole picture". I think she's normative, everyone wants the shortest means to an end, but when you show them that there will be value in the experience, they usually will invest the time.