Now that we have developed our Adult Conversion Process (called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or RCIA) with a nearly year-round schedule it is appropriate that everyone become better acquainted with this catechetical ministry that is a vital element in the growth of our Church community. The ‘old-school’ term for the RCIA process was ‘becoming a convert’ and the method of accomplishing this was simple, straight-forward and mostly, ineffective and did a disservice to those who were introduced to the Catholic Church in that method. One of the significant outcomes of Vatican II was a total re-examination of the ways we brought adults into the Church and the current RCIA process is the result of that effort. The process has its roots in the ancient Church and emphasizes a gradual, systematic introduction into the life of the Church helped and supported by the entire Church community. In the past two years, we have been celebrating most of the ‘rites’ of the process and most of you have probably been part of one or more of them by attending the Sunday liturgy when the rite was included. Our RCIA team includes some of our most experienced catechists and devoted volunteers who assist the members going through the process by instruction, sponsoring, providing pre-meeting meals and supporting the candidates in their journey in Faith. The initiation process usually concludes with the candidates celebrating their entry into the Church with the reception of the three sacraments of Initiation, Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil Liturgy with many members of the parish present. It is important that everyone in the parish be supportive of this ministry because this is the main source of our growth in membership and commitment. I encourage everyone to take the time to find out more about the RCIA process and to begin remembering everyone involved in it in your prayers. We will soon introduce a ‘space’ in the weekly bulletin that will announce the topics being discussed in the meetings during that week with an invitation to all parishioners to attend if you desire to learn more about the topic. Also, please consider becoming a sponsor for a candidate… not only is it an opportunity for personal development in your faith, it’s also an opportunity for discipleship by mentoring and supporting a new member of our faith. To learn more about RCIA check out the bulletin in the next few weeks and spend a little time learning or doing a ‘refresher’ on points of your faith that you believe could be improved. As always, please continue to pray for our clergy and all members of our staff and parish as we do for you.
Pastor’s Points is a bi-weekly feature about faith, family, and life, from our pastor, Father James Flynn. It is published in our parish bulletins, as well.