Monday, June 9, 2014

Lafayette, New Orleans, and Printer's Row

Monday morning greetings from the sunny Midwest. The last several days have been very busy for me; three days in Louisiana, followed by the Printer's Row Lit Fest here in Chicago.

Thursday's RCIA seminar was held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Lafayette, Louisiana. The church had a major fire several years ago and was rebuilt and exapnded. Some photos:

And here is the baptism font:

We then drove through southern Louisiana to New Orleans, where the seminar was repeated on Friday at Saint Catherine parish in Metarie, Louisiana, pictured here:

I just love doing these seminars, sharing the Church's vision for the catechumenate and having people really contrast that vision with their actual pastoral practice.

When I returned, I found that the May 2014 edition of the BCDW (Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship) Newsletter was in my inbox. Here was the lead article:

CARA Survey on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

In a joint project, the Secretariat of Divine Worship and Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis, along with the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, have commissioned Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate to conduct a major survey on the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).  The goal of the survey is to gauge the actual use and implementation of the RCIA in real-life parish situations.  The survey has been designed to determine which of the rites are actually used in parish and diocesan settings, when the rites are celebrated, and who presides at them.  The survey will also give responders the opportunity to report the length and content of their various catechetical programs associated with the RCIA.  This comprehensive survey is the first of its kind, and responses will inform the Bishops of the United States as they undertake a review of the National Statutes for the Catechumenate, which have been in place since 1986.

The survey has been distributed to 10,000 recipients via e-mail.  The sampling includes parishes from all across the United States – urban and rural, large and small.  The survey’s format is multiple-choice, except for a few open-ended final questions.  The findings will be reported at the National Meeting of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions in Lombard, Illinois in October 2014.  Recipients are encouraged to complete their survey thoroughly and honestly, based on the actual practices in a typical year at their parish.

The results will be quite telling, don't you think? This will be a pivotal study as we prepare to re-do the National Statutes for the Catechumenate and go through the process of the re-translation of the RCIA using the new translation guidelines from Liturgiam Authenticam. Should be an interesting few years, to say the least.

Finally, on Saturday and Sunday, three Catholic publishers here in Chicago sponsored a tent at the 30th annual Printer's Row Lit Fest. It was great to have a Catholic presence. Our sales were not quite what we had hoped for, but it was great public relations for the Catholic presence here in Chicago:

The weather was perfect, but the days were long; on our feet on asphalt!

And so this Monday brings me back to the office for a few days. On Wednesday, it's off to southern California for two more RCIA seminars (Beverly Hills and Pasadena).

Happy Pentecost!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.



Scott Pluff said...

Do you know if the survey will touch on evangelization efforts at the parish level? I've always thought RCIA and evangelization best work hand-in-hand. I've known several parish RCIA programs where the extent of their evangelization is a note in the bulletin once or twice a year, "Interested in becoming Catholic? RCIA classes now forming, call…" If 0 or 1 or 2 people signed up in a given year, well that was just a light year for them. Yet those parishes that are baptizing a dozen or more adults each year seem more intentional about evangelization.

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Scott, I am not sure if the survey will touch on evangelization efforts. I couldn't agree with you more regarding the link between the RCIA and evangelization. I was in a parish for a long time where the pastor just never recognized that link and the parish suffered because of it. Intentionality about evangelization is critical. Thanks fo your comment and for following the blog. Jerry