THE GOAL OF INITIATION (RCIA)
Many of us talk about “recruiting people for RCIA”. A better way to talk about what we mean is to talk about inviting an individual to consider the Catholic faith. We don’t need to fret if we have only one person in the INITIATION PROCESS. It is a privilege to witness God’s action in one person’s life, to help the person build a relationship with the worshipping parish community, and to invite one person to acts of charity and compassion toward others. (New RCIA coordinators can review the Rite by calling the Worship Office, 563-556-2580.)
When a person responds to our invitation, we invite her or him to begin the process of initiation into the faith. This kind of language is far better than telling them to come to RCIA class. The goal is not to fill people with information they get by going to a class. The goal is to walk with an individual as God’s Word converts or changes their life. The goal is conversion for the mission of Christ.
Conversion means that we see the individual’s perspective and behavior change as a result of weekly faith sharing with Catholics with the scriptures for Sunday, weekly celebration of Mass on Sunday (the Liturgy of the Word), and focus on meditation and prayer to strengthen the person’s relationship with God, through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. What happens is we help to i
What happens is we help to instill different habits in their life. The peak habit for them is the same as ours and that is, participating in Mass every Sunday. Celebrating the Word and the Eucharist is central in our lives and we help to make that central in their lives, too. The habit that feeds into this one is pondering the Word of God during the week before weekend Mass.
The habits that flow from Mass on Sunday are actions that are just and compassionate toward others. So, the celebration of the sacraments of initiation opens a door for the person to begin discipleship carrying on the mission of Christ for the rest of his or her life.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults was carefully threaded into the Liturgical Year. To view a table that illustrates this click the RCIA in the Liturgical Year. As leaders of the INITIATION PROCESS, we are thoughtful of the stages of conversion a person goes through as his or her relationship with God matures in our midst. We guide them to change behavior and become more compassionate with other people.
As they ponder the Word of God every week, we help them to see how God is already working in his or her daily life. They also begin to see, more clearly, the needs of others in their midst. This new vision, on their part, is a vision that is colored by the life of Jesus whose life is a template for all. Review the STAGES of RCIA process on page 14 of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Study Edition .
For other resources in the INITIATION PROCESS, see the titles in the box on the right side. One is the form to start a file on a person who plans to engage in the initiation process (not baptized or baptized Christian). This form is an on-going information guide to keep a file on the person as he or she progresses in the journey of conversion. The second is the form to submit to the Worship Office when a baptized Christian professes faith in the Roman Catholic faith. For more information, contact the Director of the Worship Office at 563-556-2580 extension 282.