Thursday, October 05, 2006

I Need Your Help...

I am involved in RCIA.

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I have compiled a list so far of things we can do or things I would like seen incorporated. Please, help me help poor catechumens in Charlotte have a better RCIA experience then I did. My dream... no hand holding, "sharing", and to banish the phrase "how does that make you feel?".

Can you look over this list & tell me what is missing or what needs tweaking.
Big Thanks!

  • Bring 2 DVD to RCIA… Fisher’s of Men & God in the Streets. Both or short. Longest is Fisher’s of Men @ 18 minutes.
  • Followed by DVD, this can generate the chance to discuss the manly aspects of the Church and review the current trend of feminizing the church which is killing vocations. Examples I could bring are articles of how to get men involved in church. I have a lot of resources. We could also talk about the masculine command to “Follow me!” as opposed to the heavily emphasized feminine meme to “have a personal relationship”. Discuss the CHURCH MILITANT.
  • Introduce different types of Catholic worship including experiencing a Tridentine Mass or a Byzantine Mass. Both are available for a group trip with maybe a 2 hour drive to Cary for Byzantine Church & SC for TLM. Talk about these different types of worship
  • Three books to recommend. The Compendium, Saints Behaving Badly, and The Bad Catholics Guide to Good Living. These are quick light hearted readings with fun facts.
  • Review reading and praying with Icons. Maybe discuss some of the most common iconography and the process involved in writing them. It is very inexpensive to get holy cards with icon images on them to hand out
  • Trip to Belmont Abbey with tour of Monastery followed by Vespers with the monks. Great opportunity to discuss 3rd Order Oblates and introduce any single men to the monks with the possibility of vocation. Contact Fr. Raymond.
  • Discuss sacred music like Palestrina and Gregorian chant. I have plenty of CDs to bring in to offer a reverent alternative to modern praise & worship music that often has heretical lyrics.
  • Discuss Catholic dating & marriage with an emphasis on NFP. We can also discuss the practice of courtship for those not married and mixed faith marriages and why they are not encouraged.
  • Instead of always opening up with a moment of meditation with trendy music how about open up with the Divine Mercy Chaplet or some other Catholic devotion.
  • Should we require “service hours” like the young adults going through confirmation? Maybe Adoration hours.
  • Maybe focus on a more academic atmosphere instead of a support group atmosphere. We can incorporate the two styles. I am well aware that the “sharing” of the group can be emotionally straining and turn many people off. We could have basic questions they have to research on their own time and bring the answers to RCIA the next week. This will also get the group talking instead of listening to the leader.
  • Does every catechumen have a rosary, a catechism, bible, and a book of basic Catholic prayers? No. The sponsors should supply them these items! We should not wait until after they receive all the sacraments to give them as gifts. They need these items now.


Steve said...
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Angela Messenger said...

CC - you need to teach apologetics Girl!

I like a lot of your ideas and it sounds far more exciting than just sitting around the table listening to the teachers drone on - but - RCIA is also about spiritual conversion as opposed to academics. We are offering Faith Formation the same night as RCIA for anyone that wants to come but especially for last years RCIA "grads."

I don't really know what the answer is. I think each class has to be looked at individually. Last year we had a mixed bag and a lot of it would have been waaaaay over at least 2 of the student's heads.

This year we only have 2 students who are intelligent and articulate so they might benefit from a program such as you are suggesting.

If you can't implement your ambitious program then just invite your confirmand to go to these things with you.

I agree we need to overhaul the namby-pamby crap we teach in RCIA but we also have to take into account the different personalities and learning styles in class.

I will be praying for you!

Angela Messenger said...

"This year we only have 2 students who are intelligent and articulate so they might benefit from a program such as you are suggesting."

That should have read "We only have 2 students. They are intelligent and articulate..."

Angela Messenger said...

I do not think the Bad Cathlolics Guide (which I own and love) is apporpriate for RCIA. I think they need to be Catholics for awhile to enjoy and understand the humor and irony in this book.

Angela Messenger said...

re: femininizing the church - this is apologetics material. Don't start them off with negativity no matter how well intentioned.

Angela Messenger said...

Service hours - no. They are not even members yet.

Adoration - yes, but remember it is not for everyone. Not all of us are into contemplative worship.

Christine said...

excellent list, but please make sure they use a Catholic bible....I saw several King James Bibles in the RCIA room.

Carolina Cannonball said...

the apologetics are left for the short time they are in Inquiry. *rolling eyes*. Its stupid I know

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Make them read and memorize selected posting on the Lair of the Catholic Cavemen blog.

Anyone who disagrees with anything gets bonked with a big ol' club. (Sister Many Linebacker would be proud!)

Dymphna said...

God bless you for getting involved in RCIA. The Bad Catholic's Guide really isn't for RCIA, it's an ironic, affectionate book written for cradle Catholics. Most people who didn't grow up Catholic won't get it. You might want to take a look at Fr. Rippy's book, This is the Faith, though.

Steve said...
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Steve said...
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