June 16, 2022
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA): Part 3 of 9
This article is part of a series. If you haven’t read the previous parts in the series, it would be helpful to do that before continuing on, as they are most informative if read in order. The entire series can be seen in the box on the page.
What happens with a catechumen or a candidate after the first public ritual?
The community that surrounds them: their families, their sponsors, the small initiation community and the entire parish accompany them ever closer to Jesus. WE…all of us. WE…the community welcomes them to see how we love the Lord by loving one another, how we follow Jesus by doing as Jesus did, how we remember, celebrate and believe.
What does this mean for St. Agnes?
It means that we are on a journey similar to that of catechumens and candidates, and that they accompany us as we accompany them.
It means we are all learning and growing in the ways of faith: adult faith formation, Scripture study and reflection, formation around liturgy, personal study, book groups, listening sessions, articles like these and more: courses, mentors, new ministries, retreats, conferences, sacramental preparation etc. We are involved in this, consistently.
It means we are all loving others: in our ministries as spouses, parents, children’s faith formation teachers, participants in works of charity and justice, visitors to the sick and imprisoned, liturgical ministers, employees, citizens, and travelers. And we practice loving our enemies and those who wish us harm. We will the good of the other and then we work for that good to come to pass. And when we fail, we repent, confess, and resolve anew, with God’s Spirit, to love as Jesus did.
It means we practice loving others by supporting the ministries of the parish. Many believe the hope for the world flows from local faith communities. That means we are reaching toward the good of others even when it’s not necessarily in our own interest. So that means giving time we don’t feel we have, money we’d rather do something else with, and gifts we’d rather use elsewhere…giving it to the work of love being carried out in and through the parish. This is where our children, our seekers, our inquirers, our catechumens and candidates, our doubters and dark night of the soul-ers all find Christ, alive…a concentrated visible expression in our parish. This is how we provide hope for the world.