RCIA – what is it, why is it important, what is the structure of the process, who’s involved, what is the time of initiati...
<ul><li>What is RCIA? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is RCIA important? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the structure of the RCIA process...
Prayer <ul><li>“ Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to hi...
What is RCIA? <ul><li>RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults”  </li></ul><ul><li>The Second Vatican Counc...
What is RCIA? <ul><li>Endorsed by the ancient practice of the Church </li></ul><ul><li>Designed for the preparation of a g...
What is RCIA? <ul><li>Contains usual rites and those for special circumstances, to include optional rites and combined rit...
Why is RCIA important? <ul><li>Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people, it is the door to life ...
What is the structure of the RCIA process? June 28, 2009 Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults <ul><ul><li>First hearing ...
Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Inquirers seeking Christ  – non-baptized adults, or previously baptized Christian adults ...
Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Sponsor  – accompanies any candidate seeking admission as a catechumen </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Godparent(s)  – may be different person from sponsor for rite of acceptance and period of...
Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Godparent(s)  continued… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chosen by the candidate before election, o...
Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Godparent(s) continued… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsibility of the godparents </li></ul>...
Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Bishop  - in person or through delegates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides pastoral formatio...
Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Deacons  – assist in the ministry and instruction to catechumens </li></ul><ul><li>Catech...
Time of Initiation <ul><li>General rule  - sacraments are celebrated at the Easter Vigil; rite of election on the First Su...
Time of Initiation <ul><li>Rite of Acceptance  into the order of catechumens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not to be celebrated to...
Time of Initiation <ul><li>Rite of Acceptance  (cont.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two or three dates of the year are to be fixe...
Time of Initiation <ul><li>Presentations  – by ancient usage, take place after the scrutinies, celebrated during the week ...
Time of Initiation <ul><li>Sacraments of Initiation  – should take place at Easter Vigil; may be transferred to days withi...
End with a quote <ul><li>St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (d.1942) </li></ul>June 28, 2009 <ul><li>“ By its own power,  [...
End with a quote <ul><li>“ Human freedom  can be neither broken nor neutralized by divine freedom, but it  may well be, so...
Further Study June 28, 2009 Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults:  Study Edition Liturgical Press, 1988   ISBN:978-0-814...
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What Is RCIA

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RCIA – what is it, why is it important, what is the structure of the process, who’s involved, what is the time of initiation

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  • Source: Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults , Study Edition, The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, Minnesota, 1988, declared to be the vernacular typical edition of Ordo initiationis christianae adultorum in the diocese of the United States of America, published by authority of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  • What is RCIA? Why is RCIA important? Who is involved in RCIA? What the structure of the RCIA process?
  • Cf. decree (Prot. No. 15/72) of the Congregation for Divine Worship, 6 January 1972. RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults” The Second Vatican Council prescribed a revision of the rite of baptism of adults The catechumenate (preparation for baptism) of adults is… Divided into several steps Intended as “a period of well-suited instruction” Sanctified by liturgical rites to be celebrated at successive intervals of time
  • Cf. RCIA, no. 2-4 Endorsed by the ancient practice of the Church Designed for the preparation of a group of candidates, but can be adapted by pastors for one person
  • Cf. RCIA, no. 2-4 Contains usual rites and rites for special circumstances, to include optional rites and combined rites RCIA is a “gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful”
  • Cf. Christian Initiation – General Introduction, no. 2-3 “ Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:29) Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people, it is the door to life and to the kingdom of God The Church believes that it is its most basic and necessary duty to inspire ALL to be baptized
  • Cf. RCIA, no. 9
  • Cf. RCIA, no. 10
  • Cf. RCIA no. 10-11
  • Cf. RCIA no. 11
  • Cf. RCIA no. 11
  • Cf. RCIA no. 12-13
  • RCIA, no. 15-16
  • Edith Stein, Welt und Person. Beitrag zum christlichen Wahrheitsstreben [Word and person. A contribution to Christian truth seeking], ed. by L. Gelber and Romaeus Leuven, O.C.D. (Freiburg, 1962), pp. 158ff, as quoted by Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar in Dare we hope “That all men be saved”? , translated by Dr. David Kippand Rev. Lothar Kraut, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988 Longer quote: We attempted to understand what part freedom plays in the work of redemption. For this it is not adequate if one focuses on freedom alone. One must investigate as well what grace can do and whether even for it there is an absolute limit. This we have already seen: grace must come to man. By its own power, it can, at best, come up to his door but never force its way inside. And further: it can come to him without his seeking it, without his desiring it. The question is whether it can complete its work without his cooperation. It seemed to us that this question had to be answered negatively. That is a weighty thing to say. For it obviously implies that God’s freedom, which we call omnipotence, meets with a limit in human freedom. Grace is the Spirit of God, who descends to the soul of man. It can find no abode there if it is not freely taken in. That is a hard truth. It implies—besides the aforementioned limit to Divine omnipotence—the possibility, in principle, of excluding oneself from redemption and the kingdom of grace. It does not imply a limit to divine mercy. For even if we cannot close our minds to the fact that temporal death comes for countless men without their ever having looked eternity in the eye and without salvation’s ever having become a problem for them; that, furthermore, many men occupy themselves with salvation for a lifetime without responding to grace—we still do not know whether the decisive hour might not come for all of these somewhere in the next world, and faith can tell us this is the case. All-merciful love can thus descend to everyone. We believe that it does so. And now, can we assume that there are souls that remain perpetually closed to such love? As a possibility in principle, this cannot be rejected. In reality, it can become infinitely improbable—precisely through what preparatory grace is capable of effecting in the soul. It can do no more than knock at the door, and there are souls that already open themselves to it upon hearing this unobtrusive call. Others allow it to go unheeded. Then it can steal its way into souls and begin to spread itself out there more and more. The greater the area becomes that grace thus occupies in an illegitimate way, the more improbable it becomes that the soul will remain closed to it. For now the soul already sees the world in the light of grace. It perceives the holy whenever it encounters this and feels itself attracted by it. Likewise, it noteces the unholy and is repulsed by it; and everything
  • What Is RCIA

    1. 1. RCIA – what is it, why is it important, what is the structure of the process, who’s involved, what is the time of initiation What is RCIA? June 28, 2009
    2. 2. <ul><li>What is RCIA? </li></ul><ul><li>Why is RCIA important? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the structure of the RCIA process? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is involved in RCIA? </li></ul><ul><li>Time of initiation </li></ul>Overview June 28, 2009 Before we begin, please join me in prayer
    3. 3. Prayer <ul><li>“ Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20) </li></ul>June 28, 2009 <ul><li>Almighty God, grant that we may hear your voice and respond faithfully to your call with an open heart. Amen. </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is RCIA? <ul><li>RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” </li></ul><ul><li>The Second Vatican Council prescribed a revision of the rite of baptism of adults </li></ul><ul><li>Christian initiation of adults is… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Divided into several steps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intended as “a period of well-suited instruction” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sanctified by liturgical rites to be celebrated at successive intervals of time </li></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    5. 5. What is RCIA? <ul><li>Endorsed by the ancient practice of the Church </li></ul><ul><li>Designed for the preparation of a group of candidates, but can be adapted </li></ul>by pastors for one person June 28, 2009
    6. 6. What is RCIA? <ul><li>Contains usual rites and those for special circumstances, to include optional rites and combined rites </li></ul><ul><li>RCIA is a “gradual process that takes place within the community of the faithful” </li></ul>June 28, 2009
    7. 7. Why is RCIA important? <ul><li>Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people, it is the door to life and to the kingdom of God </li></ul><ul><li>“ Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” ( Matt 28:19 ) </li></ul><ul><li>The Church believes that it is its most basic and necessary duty to inspire ALL to be baptized </li></ul>June 28, 2009
    8. 8. What is the structure of the RCIA process? June 28, 2009 Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults <ul><ul><li>First hearing of the Gospel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beginning of faith </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stirrings of repentance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice of Prayer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sense of Church </li></ul></ul>Evangelization <ul><ul><li>Formed by </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liturgy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kindly Dismissed </li></ul></ul>Faith Formation/ Catechesis <ul><ul><li>Spiritual Formation Intensified </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prayer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Almsgiving </li></ul></ul>Prayer & Discernment <ul><ul><li>Post-baptismal Catechesis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easter Season liturgies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Homilies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special place in the assembly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>General Intercessions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation in parish ministries </li></ul></ul>On-going Formation
    9. 9. Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Inquirers seeking Christ – non-baptized adults, or previously baptized Christian adults from non-Catholic Christian communities, or adult Catholics who are not fully catechized (educated in the faith) </li></ul><ul><li>All the baptized -- Initiation of adults is the responsibility of ALL the baptized—to give help to those who are seeking Christ </li></ul>June 28, 2009
    10. 10. Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Sponsor – accompanies any candidate seeking admission as a catechumen </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsors are persons who have known and assisted the candidates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stand as witnesses to the candidates’ moral character, faith, and intention for rite of acceptance and period of catechumenate </li></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    11. 11. Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Godparent(s) – may be different person from sponsor for rite of acceptance and period of catechumenate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accompanies the candidate on the day of election, at the celebration of the sacraments of initiation, and during the post-baptismal catechesis (mystagogy) </li></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    12. 12. Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Godparent(s) continued… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chosen by the candidate before election, on the basis of example, good qualities and friendship, delegated by the local Christian community, and approved by the priest </li></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    13. 13. Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Godparent(s) continued… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsibility of the godparents </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Show the candidates how to practice the Gospel in personal and social life </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sustain the candidates in moment of hesitancy and anxiety </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bear witness and guide the candidates’ progress in the baptismal life </li></ul></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    14. 14. Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Bishop - in person or through delegates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides pastoral formation for catechumens and admits the candidates for election and sacraments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Priests - minister of baptism, confirmation, & Eucharist; also attends to the pastoral and personal care of the catechumens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide instruction for the catechumens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approves the choice of godparents </li></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    15. 15. Who is involved in RCIA? <ul><li>Deacons – assist in the ministry and instruction to catechumens </li></ul><ul><li>Catechists – help others to believe in Christ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Active part in the rites, whenever possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When deputed by the bishop, perform minor exorcisms and blessings contained in the ritual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide instruction in the faith, filled with the spirit of the Gospel </li></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    16. 16. Time of Initiation <ul><li>General rule - sacraments are celebrated at the Easter Vigil; rite of election on the First Sunday of Lent </li></ul><ul><li>Pastoral needs – can be arranged differently </li></ul>June 28, 2009
    17. 17. Time of Initiation <ul><li>Rite of Acceptance into the order of catechumens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not to be celebrated too early </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delayed until candidate has had sufficient time to conceive an initial faith and to show the first signs of conversion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should be delayed until group is formed that is sufficiently large for catechesis and liturgical rites </li></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    18. 18. Time of Initiation <ul><li>Rite of Acceptance (cont.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two or three dates of the year are to be fixed as the usual times for this rite </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rite of Election – generally celebrated on First Sunday of Lent, or other times for pastoral reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Scrutinies – on 3 rd , 4 th , and 5 th Sundays of Lent, or other Sundays of Lent or weekdays if necessary </li></ul>June 28, 2009
    19. 19. Time of Initiation <ul><li>Presentations – by ancient usage, take place after the scrutinies, celebrated during the week </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creed – week after 1 st scrutiny </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lord’s Prayer – week after 3 rd scrutiny </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May be transferred for pastoral reasons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Holy Saturday – elect refrain from work and spend time in recollection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Various rites, recitation of Creed, ephphetha rite, choosing of Christian name </li></ul></ul>June 28, 2009
    20. 20. Time of Initiation <ul><li>Sacraments of Initiation – should take place at Easter Vigil; may be transferred to days within Easter octave </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confirmation may be postponed until near the end of the post-baptismal catechesis, e.g., Pentecost Sunday </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Masses for neophytes – celebrated on all Sundays of Easter after Easter Sunday </li></ul><ul><li>Even if above times are changed, the structure of the entire rite remains the same </li></ul>June 28, 2009
    21. 21. End with a quote <ul><li>St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (d.1942) </li></ul>June 28, 2009 <ul><li>“ By its own power, [grace] can, at best, come up to his door but never force its way inside…All-merciful love can thus descend to everyone. We believe that it does so ....faith in the unboundedness of divine love and grace also justifies hope for the universality of redemption … ” </li></ul>
    22. 22. End with a quote <ul><li>“ Human freedom can be neither broken nor neutralized by divine freedom, but it may well be, so to speak, outwitted [by grace] . The descent of grace to the human soul is a free act of divine love. And there are no limits to how far [grace] may extend. ” </li></ul>June 28, 2009 St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Carmelite Nun, Doctor of Philosophy, Arrested by the Gestapo and gassed at Auschitz in August 1942 Read more here: http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_19981011_edith_stein_en.html
    23. 23. Further Study June 28, 2009 Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults: Study Edition Liturgical Press, 1988 ISBN:978-0-8146-1593-5 Paper, 378 pp., 7 1/4 x 10 1/2 Price: $29.95 http://www.litpress.org/Detail.aspx?ISBN=0814615937
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