I have another request from a priest new to RCIA for a ‘doctrinal package’ that covers ‘all they need to know’. He says, ‘Yes, I have the Rite,but can you give me the content for all the catechesis’. Where do I start?
I might ask first of all: What are your hopes for the enquirer(s) ? Given these hopes, what do you think they need now?
Then to talk about the hope of the RCIA itself – and the principles at its heart – for an apprenticeship in the Christian life
These would include:
•Respond to the needs of the enquirer
•It takes as long as it takes – God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit in each person/community
•Integration into the community
•In steps and stages, marked by liturgical moments
•In tune with the liturgical year, as heart-beat
•Time to Reflect on the experience, developing mature faith
Offered all year round – “You are WELCOME!” – not ‘Come back in September…..’
Together we would look at the Overview of RCIA (available as download from website, under resources) – and the different steps and stages, and the requirments of these.
I would hope then for a discussion about the role of Scripture as a ‘perpetual source of spiritual life, the chief instrunment for handing down Christian doctrine, and the centre of theological study’ (Paul VI)
And by way of encouragement for a new start, to look at some of the resources that support the different periods, for example, ‘God for Grown Ups’ and ‘How to survive being married to a Catholic’ (Redemptorist Publications) , and the simple process offered through the variety of lectionary-based resources such as the ‘Foundations in Faith’ series,one for each liturgical year ABC, (Resources for Christian Living).
And finally, we might explore together the ‘team’ and who will journey with the enquirers, and the role of the sponsoring community.
I think starting with ‘What are your hopes….’ is a good place to start!….Wish me luck!