Apprenticed to Christ by Jerry Galipeau


As I sit here in the isles of Scotland looking out over the Loch with the fleet of fishing boats already back in harbour this morning, it is easy to see that no-one would take fishing on for life without lengthy training in the skills of the fishing industry. That training starts by way of an apprenticeship, with an immediate involvement in experiencing the work of being a fisherman. That is a far cry from how those who want to become disciples of Christ are immersed in the Catholic way of life, and that is a point that came out in Fr Paul Turner’s sessions at the 2013 RCIA Network Conference.

Thanks to last week’s blog on the conference, and although it would be impossible to repeat all that was said, I am sure there will be themes and ideas and suggestions that will be explored in the months to come. Certainly the issue of running an all year round catechumenate was avidly discussed.

There are perceived difficulties with lack of people to run RCIA. But following lectionary based catechesis ‘LBC’ by having any catechetical sessions or input following the lectionary, does make it more easily doable. It also follows the idea of apprenticeship as disciples. let those who want to come into the Catholic church experience the life of the community during their period of apprenticeship.

Fr Paul reminded us of Ad Gentes 14 and how the catechumenate is not just about
teaching of doctrine, but about what it means to be a follower of Christ. This means those who want to join the Catholic church experience all aspects of our community as they progress their journey in faith by walking alongside others and experiencing the daily life of what it means to be christian (mission, social action, prayer). As the lectionary is what our lives follow each sunday, it is practical to use LBC.

For innovative ways and ideas of following the LBC Fr Paul spoke of Jerry Galipeau’s book Apprenticed to Christ*. So why not add it to your summer reading list.

If you have ideas or experiences of running all year round catechumenate please do share them.

*published byWorld Library Publications, Illinois.