Anna-Maria Dupelycz expands on the comment she made on the post: Practising the Lectionary
Like many people who attend Network Conferences, I have come away inspired and refreshed time and again. Among the most influential topics for me in my practice of RCIA have been lectionary-based catechesis and ‘year-round’ catechumenate. For several years now I have made special efforts during the Easter season to encourage enquirers to make themselves known and begun their formal enquiry period a couple of weeks after Pentecost until the beginning of the summer holidays (end of July/beginning of August) and resuming formal gatherings once again in mid-September. (Not entirely the full vision of ‘year-round’ catechumenate where enquirers are welcomed at any time during the year but an attempt at making a start at moving away from ‘September to Easter/Pentecost’.) Before embarking on much-needed summer breaks by all, I distribute a homemade booklet containing the text of the Sunday and major feast day gospels with a commentary or reflection and the occasional reflection question with space for notes to pave the way for what is to come: intensive scripture (lectionary)-based sessions. Enquirers (and team members) are encouraged to use this leaflet alongside their Mass attendance through the summer to come back with questions and the opportunity to share their insights the first evening back. Where do the reflections come from? I have used various sources mostly available online as well as throwing in some of my own insights (eg www.bible.claret.org; www.rc.net/wcc/readings, www.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/daily, to name but a few!)
The rationale behind this is fourfold:
- to encourage the reading of scripture for personal prayer and reflection, (or for getting together with a sponsor/godparent and sharing)
- to not be afraid of scripture, particularly if the gospels are still something of a ‘mystery’ to enquirers
- to become a little more familiar with the lectionary,.
- to get across that it is ‘OK’ to ask questions such as ‘I don’t get what the passage is trying to say.’, ‘I can’t quite see the relevance in my life at this time.’ or, on a simpler level ‘Who were the Pharisees?’
Coupled with encouraging trying out (free!) apps such as ‘Laudate’ and ‘Pray-As-You-Go’, this continues the formation of enquirers whilst team members can have some much needed ‘R and r’, whilst trying to maintain the spirit of RCIA, particularly §36 & 75. I would also hope that the exercise encourages the enquirers to take on some responsibility for their own formation from early days in their journey towards initiation, pointing them to trusted sources that can become tools for their continuing journey after initiation.