The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process through which people are received into the Catholic faith or baptized Catholics, who have never received instruction on the other sacraments of initiation, are fully initiation in their faith. The entire family of faith participates in RCIA through their welcome and witness of faith. Leaders and sponsors on the RCIA teams provide support to those new in faith by sharing their faith, prayers, and experiences.
Because RCIA is an ongoing process, a large team enables the work of the ministry not to become demanding. After the Liturgy of the Word candidates are dismissed from Mass to study the Word further as a group Team members are needed to facilitate the breaking open of the Word. Team members may wish to lead the catechesis portion of the candidate’s preparation during weeknight sessions.
Members of the parish who are willing to share the journey of faith with candidates attend most weeknight sessions with the candidate. They act as a witness of faith, attempt to answer questions, and invite the candidate to participate with them on various parish functions. They become a support and friend to the candidate.
Gifts that are Needed and Developed for this Ministry:
A desire and willingness to share your faith with others are needed for team members and sponsors. You should be good example of one who lives their faith. A good appreciation and basic understanding of your faith is important for sponsors. Team members should have a good grasp of Catholic teaching and Scripture.
Team members who break open the word are scheduled no more than once a month. The session is about 25-30 minutes. Leading sessions will be scheduled on an individual basis. They are about 1 ½ hours long. Sponsors should attend sessions as much as possible with the candidate. Meetings will be held for team members as are needed
Team members and sponsors participate in a daylong retreat on Palm Sunday.
Training is done by observation of sessions and reading materials.
Benefits for the Volunteer:
This is a most rewarding of ministries. By working with those who so eagerly are seeking faith, you will undoubtedly find your own faith grow and develop. You will have a better understanding of Catholicism and scripture will take on new meaning and have a greater importance in your life. You will experience unbelievable joy and excitement from being part of this ministry.