Monday, September 12, 2016

Invitation into the RCIA

Monday greetings from the sunny Midwest.

Yesterday at Mass, as part of the announcements, our parish staff member who oversees the RCIA made an invitational announcement about the RCIA in our parish, and it was one of the finest I have ever heard.

She simply looked out at all of us and said something like this: "You may be someone who regularly or occasionally comes on Sunday to Old Saint Pat's and are interested in knowing more about becoming a Catholic; what this whole Catholic experience is all about. You may know someone in that situation as well. Or you may have been coming here for years and feel the need to know more about becoming a Catholic. Well, in a couple of weeks, on a Tuesday night, the RCIA team here at Old Saint Pat's will be welcoming any and all people who are interested in furthering the conversation. We meet every Tuesday for dinner and then we see where things go from there. So there are twenty of us waiting to assist anyone who is interested. It's all about community, growing in discipleship, and learning. You may only decide to stay for four weeks or six weeks, or you might want to go all the way to Easter and beyond. Everyone is welcome. I'll be standing outside the church after Mass to answer any of your questions."

Her tone was warm and inviting. I noticed several people talking with her after Mass.

Of course, our parish's RCIA process looks like the typical September to May "school model" approach to Christian initiation. I don't know enough of the details to know if readiness is discerned along the way or if everyone who stays all year is "discerned" ready for the sacraments all at the same time at Easter.

At any rate, I thought that the invitation was spot on. It certainly didn't sound like an invitation into a course in Roman Catholic doctrine, which way too many RCIA programs have morphed into.

What does your parish's invitation to the RCIA look like? Sound like?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Old Saint Pat's has an excellent RCIA program. While it starts in September, RCIA does not feel like a class at Old Saint Pat's (in my opinion). The sessions being over dinner helps bring about a strong community atmosphere.

I recommend that you speak with the staff member, Keara, who is in charge of the program if you have any questions about it. She is very kind and is great to speak with, and I am confident that you and her would enjoy discussing RCIA.

For years, I have felt that other parishes could learn from the Old Saint Pat's model. It has proven to be very successful.

I had a friend who I sponsored going through this program a couple of years ago. I actually recommended Old Saint Pat's to her and was very pleased that she decided to go through the program and felt honored that she asked me to sponsor her. At Old Saint Pat's, they like for the sponsors to go to the sessions, and I felt that my faith benefited from this as well.