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  • RCIA Q And A

    1. 1. <ul><li>Welcome! </li></ul>
    2. 2. R.C.I.A. The R ite of C hristian I nitiation of A dults
    3. 3. Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults History and Structure
    4. 4. <ul><li>Artist Eric Gill in his Autobiography describes his journey to the Catholic Church… </li></ul><ul><li>“ I would not have anyone think that I became a Catholic because I was convinced of the truth, though I was convinced of the truth. </li></ul><ul><li>I became a Catholic because I fell in love with the truth. </li></ul><ul><li>And love is an experience. </li></ul><ul><li>I saw. </li></ul><ul><li>I heard. </li></ul><ul><li>I felt. </li></ul><ul><li>I tasted. </li></ul><ul><li>I touched. </li></ul><ul><li>And that is what lovers do.” </li></ul>
    5. 5. What is it? <ul><li>The R.C.I.A. is the process by which the Catholic Church welcomes new members into its midst, and/or completes the process of Christian Initiation. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a return to the method used by the early Church to initiate new members, as mandated by the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). </li></ul>
    6. 6. What is it? <ul><li>It is a process of Initiation into the Community that includes thorough study of Sacred Scripture and Church doctrine, spiritual reflection, private and liturgical prayer, as well as community involvement. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a loving immersion into the Mystery of the Church in which Christ is truly active and present and facilitates the conversion of the heart to God in Christ Jesus. </li></ul>
    7. 7. How Did We Get Here? <ul><li>To many, this all may seem very new – but it is actually very ancient. </li></ul><ul><li>It has its roots in Jesus’ mandate… </li></ul>
    8. 8. How Did We Get Here? <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>
    9. 9. Some Church History: 150-250 AD <ul><li>The catechumenate as we know it begins to take shape. </li></ul><ul><li>Before this time, individuals simply brought new members into the community, introducing them to the Christian way of life. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Some Church History: 150-250 AD <ul><li>Now, however, a structure took form: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Partly this is due to the increasing number of Gentiles joining the church </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many – if not most - have little or no background in either the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) or beliefs of either Judaism or “The Way” (Christianity). </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Some Church History: 3rd-4th Century <ul><li>In 313 AD, Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Large numbers of people began to convert to Christianity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The numbers were overwhelming. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The quality of catechesis (teaching about the Christian faith) began to falter. </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Some Church History: 3rd-4th Century <ul><li>Despite the drop in quality of teaching, this was the golden age for the Church. </li></ul><ul><li>There was a highly developed structure of learning Scripture and Christian practices, which included a three-year process for possible converts. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Some Church History: 5th Century <ul><li>Up to this time, baptism was mainly for adults entering the Church. </li></ul><ul><li>Then an idea known as original sin was accepted as a theological truth. </li></ul><ul><li>This led to large numbers of infant baptisms. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Some Church History: 12th Century <ul><li>Elements of preparation for baptism began to appear in training for ordained ministry and religious life: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>progressive levels of commitment, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>rituals for various stages of preparation for priesthood or religious life, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>spiritual disciplines </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Some Church History: 16th Century <ul><li>In a reaction against mass numbers of baptisms in “mission lands,” where little to no preparation took place, religious orders (such as the Dominicans and Augustinians) urged a return to the catechumenate process. </li></ul><ul><li>They were largely unsuccessful. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Some Church History: 20th Century <ul><li>The catechumenate was revived in Europe and parts of Africa. </li></ul><ul><li>The motivation was to counter-act the large numbers of those who were Catholic &quot;in-name-only.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>The White Fathers (another religious order) in Africa were motivated by a need to build the Church from the grass roots. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) <ul><li>A major period of restoration and restructuring in the Catholic Church </li></ul><ul><li>A call for the reinstatement of the catechumenate process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2,165 bishops present voted in favor of restoration of the ancient form </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9 were against </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Some Church History: Post-Vatican II <ul><li>1972: Publication of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in the Church’s official language (Latin) </li></ul><ul><li>1974: Provisional English translation approved for use in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>1986: Final English translation with U.S. additions, approved by the U.S. bishops </li></ul><ul><li>1988: Final implementation </li></ul>
    19. 19. How does this happen? <ul><li>It is the Baptismal Rite extended over the course of the each participant’s own process of conversion. </li></ul><ul><li>For those preparing for Baptism, it is an extended immersion into the Paschal Mystery which allows them to thoroughly absorb the conversion experience. </li></ul><ul><li>For those already Baptized, this permits a reaffirmation of baptismal vows and an extended opportunity for reflection on one’s baptismal call. </li></ul>
    20. 20. How does this happen? <ul><li>Conversion involves Periods in time that reflect the natural stages of a person’s intellectual and spiritual growth. </li></ul><ul><li>Each period is marked by celebrations indicating the end of one stage and the entrance into the next stage of the faith journey. </li></ul><ul><li>Many of these periods are tied to seasons of the Church’s liturgical year, but can vary if need be. </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>Period of Inquiry: This is the initial inquiry into learning about the Catholic faith. The sessions are characterized by informal and often spontaneous discussions of various points of interest and concern to the inquirer. No obligations are required. </li></ul>How does this happen?
    22. 22. <ul><li>Period of Catechumenate: This begins with the Rite of Acceptance , and is a period of intense study of Sacred Scripture and the doctrines of the Catholic Church. Regular attendance at sessions, and discussions during the Sunday Mass, are needed for the Candidate to fully engage the process. </li></ul>How does this happen?
    23. 23. <ul><li>Period of Purification & Enlightenment: This takes place during the season of Lent, which intensifies spiritual reflection and personal discernment. It also serves as final preparation for reception of the Sacraments of Initiation. </li></ul>How does this happen?
    24. 24. <ul><li>Period of Mystagogia: The year-long period immediately following the reception of the Sacraments, in which the newly initiated person continues to reflect on the experience of initiation into the Mystery of the Church, and begins to live out his or her new Catholic Faith. </li></ul>How does this happen?
    25. 25. Periods and Rites Inquiry Catechumenate Purification & Enlightenment Mystagogy Rite of Acceptance Rite of Welcome Rite of Election Scrutinies Easter Sacraments of Initiation
    26. 26. <ul><li>The majority of the Rite is based on the ancient teaching form called catechesis . </li></ul><ul><li>From the Greek katachein “To repeat back, to echo.” </li></ul>Catechesis and the R.C.I.A.
    27. 28. An echo reproduces what it has received. It cannot create a new sound. The original sound must come from a different source.
    28. 29. If the wall is smooth, at the right angle, the right distance and with the correct shape, then the echo will reproduce the original sound faithfully.
    29. 30. What message are we to echo? <ul><li>That God loved us. </li></ul><ul><li>That God loved us so much that He sent His Son. </li></ul><ul><li>That his Son showed us the Father’s and the Spirit’s love in everything He said and did. </li></ul>
    30. 31. What message are we to echo? <ul><li>That God loves us totally, completely and unconditionally because He died for us. </li></ul><ul><li>That Jesus, by his death and resurrection, handed over his Spirit to the Church who must continue to be a sign and bearer of God’s love. </li></ul><ul><li>That through the Church, and as members of the Church, we become sharers of God’s total and unconditional love. </li></ul>
    31. 32. What message are we to echo? <ul><li>That as members of his Church, we are called to become living witnesses of God’s total, complete and unconditional love to all humanity and to the whole world. </li></ul><ul><li>That this is the call and the mission of every member of the Church. </li></ul><ul><li>That only through the fulfillment of this call we can live life fully here on earth and then enjoy eternal life with God in the next. </li></ul>
    32. 33. <ul><li>Catechesis is at the heart of the R.C.I.A. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a process of information, leading to formation, aiming at personal transformation of the individual. </li></ul>Catechesis and the R.C.I.A.
    33. 34. <ul><li>Because its aim is indeed personal transformation , we use four strategies: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Instruction, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lectionary- based learning, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Liturgy, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mystagogy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Catechesis and the R.C.I.A.
    34. 35. Brain Hurt Yet? <ul><li>Let’s take a break! </li></ul>
    35. 36. <ul><li>When did you first become aware of the R.C.I.A. as a parish ministry? </li></ul><ul><li>What brought you here tonight? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you bring with you? </li></ul><ul><li>What concerns do you have? </li></ul>Some questions…
    36. 37. A Closer Look: The Initiation Journey
    37. 38. Getting Started: Evangelization <ul><li>No fixed duration or structure </li></ul><ul><li>Time of inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction to Gospel values </li></ul><ul><li>First stirrings of faith </li></ul>
    38. 39. First Step <ul><li>Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Catechumens express their intention to follow Christ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The church accepts their commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Formal beginning of the Catechumenate period </li></ul></ul>
    39. 40. Catechumenate <ul><li>No fixed duration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The length of the catechumenate depends upon the progress and prior formation of the catechumen </li></ul></ul>
    40. 41. Catechumenate <ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular faith-sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Catechesis, flowing from the Sunday assembly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrations of the Word, various blessings, and prayers of exorcism (for those not baptized) </li></ul></ul>
    41. 42. Second Step <ul><li>Rite of Election & Enrollment of Names </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liturgical rite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Godparents and catechists testify to the catechumens’ readiness, and catechumens reaffirm their intention to celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation (119) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Church formally ratifies the readiness of the catechumens for initiation (119) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The catechumens are afterward known as the &quot;elect&quot; (124) </li></ul></ul>
    42. 43. Purification and Enlightenment <ul><li>The 40-day Lenten period </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is the immediate preparation for initiation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Structure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Celebration of the Scrutinies on the third, fourth, and fifth Sundays of Lent (141) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also, the presentations and preparation rites of Holy Saturday (147) </li></ul></ul>
    43. 44. Third Step <ul><li>Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liturgical rites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Baptism (or Profession of Faith) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Confirmation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eucharist </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Takes place at the Easter Vigil </li></ul></ul>
    44. 45. Mystagogy <ul><li>The 50-day Easter season (from the Vigil until Pentecost Sunday) </li></ul><ul><li>Extends to the first year after initiation </li></ul><ul><li>“ Elect” become “Neophytes” </li></ul><ul><li>They participate fully in the Eucharist and the life of the Church </li></ul><ul><li>Catechesis flows from this experience (245) </li></ul>
    45. 46. Your questions!