Every year there is a group of people who come to our parish doorway at St. John’s, seeking to know, and perhaps become a part, of our Catholic way of life. Each seeker comes with their own history, their own story of faith, and their own questions about relationship with God and the Catholic Church. What follows is a reflection offered by one of last year’s seekers about his RCIA experience:
As with many RCIA candidates, I grew up a Protestant, but God blessed me with an incredible wife who happened to be Catholic. Realizing the importance of aligning our faith, I signed up for RCIA. I started the process with an open mind, but my main goal was simply to learn about Catholicism, with a focus on the areas that were at odds with my Protestant upbringing such as Papal authority, Apostolic succession, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, veneration of the saints, etc. Even though I desired to be united in faith with my wife, I was not going to betray my conscience, if after the end of RCIA, I remained unconvinced that the Catholic church was Christ's means of passing down the deposit of faith.
However, whatever misconceptions I had, slowly but surely disappeared as RCIA progressed. Between the Tuesday night meetings and Breaking Open the Word, Irene, Ray, Susan, Dale, Connie, and the other facilitators and volunteers led thoughtful discussions and prayers so that everyone involved could learn about the faith. There was no pressure to become Catholic, only loving support and kindness. They did an excellent job covering the RCIA curriculum but I realized it barely scratched the surface of 2000 years of rich Catholic teaching. The more we discussed, the more I wanted to learn, and was amazed at how many wonderful resources there are to enrich our faith. In addition to the Catechism, there are incredible resources like Formed.org, EWTN, and thought provoking podcasts (Called to Communion is my favorite and I think a must for RCIA candidates and catechumen). The more effort I put into RCIA, the more Christ was leading me to the church. As the Easter Vigil drew near, any doubt had been removed and was replaced with joyful anticipation of partaking in the Eucharist and the sacrifice of the mass for the first time.
RCIA opened the door to a deeper, more meaningful faith in Christ, through the Catholic Church, and I'm profoundly grateful for Irene and the volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules to patiently guide our group down this path.
"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path." Psalms 119:105
St. John‘s Parishioner since December 2016
By Irene Haefele with Rob Nichols
RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
Become Catholic - Register for RCIA
RCIA, or Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, is a program through which the Catholic way of life is presented. Participants get to know and grow in relationship with Christ.
Our Commitment: Through RCIA you will learn how the Catholic faith believes you can know God's love, and how you are invited by Him to share in it. Those interested can learn more about the Catholic Church. If you choose to join us, we will willingly walk with you on your journey in learning your new faith. The program also serves Catholics interested in receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.
What We Do:
You will engage in weekly evening classes and small group discussions that explore the Catholic perspective on: Mary the Mother of Jesus, a look at the Priesthood, and the role of the clergy in the Church, as well as instruction on the Catholic Sacraments.
You are invited to attend Saturday or Sunday Mass, hear the word of God proclaimed, and hear the Pastor's reflections. After receiving a blessing, our group will leave to discuss our experiences and insights as they pertain to the daily word.
Time & Training Required: Evening classes are held once a week August through April. Weekend mass classes begin in November on Saturdays and Sundays and last through Easter.
Inspirations on the Mass
Insights on the Mass - Liturgy of the Word
Father Ray gives insights on the Mass in two parts for the RCIA candidates. This segment focuses on the Liturgy of the Word.