When those who have been coming to the church to inquire about what we believe and how we live decide that they want to prepare to become Catholic, they enter the Catechumenate. The word catechumenate is used for the process of becoming a Catholic Christian; it also means a specific period within that process. People who are seeking to learn more about the Catholic faith and its mission fall into two main groups: catechumens and candidates (baptized people). A catechumen is someone who has never been baptized; he or she may be an adult, teenager, or young child. The Church opens its arms to these seekers with the wisdom and ritual of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (commonly called the RCIA).
After an initial period of inquiry into the Catholic faith, those ready to do so publicly declare their intent to join the church and are accepted into the “order of catechumens.” With the help of catechists, sponsors and the entire community of believers, the catechumens begin to share in the life of the community and do what Christians do: read the Scriptures, gather on Sundays with other believers and bear witness to the message of Jesus in word and deed. In many parishes, the primary time for catechesis is after the Liturgy of the Word on Sundays (dismissal catechesis). After the homily, as the rest of the assembly proceeds with the Mass, the catechumens go to another room to continue reflecting on the day’s Scriptures. They also learn the many other times and ways we pray. In addition, the church’s moral teachings, traditions and disciplines are explained.
The catechumens and candidates also learn the ways of Christians by getting to know us and seeing how we deal in faith with daily life. They participate in parish events. They also participate in our life of service to the church and to the world.
By spending time with us, the catechumens and candidates forge bonds of friendship, strengthening their ties with the church. By our spending time with them, our faith is strengthened and renewed! They remind us that our faith is a living, growing reality, and that people are attracted to it today just as they were centuries ago by the teachings of Jesus and the life of His disciples.
On December 2nd, at the 9:15 am Mass on the First Sunday in Advent, we will be celebrating the Rite of Acceptance for Jennifer Early and Deborah Lilley, two catechumenates in our RCIA program. Please welcome them and keep them in your prayers as they go through this wonderful process!
RCIA - What is The Catechumenate?
Prayer for Those in the RCIA Program
May the Spirit of God bless all of Christ's children who are seeking to come into full communion with Him and His most holy church, especially Jennifer and Debbie.
Guide the faithful who dedicate their hearts to lighting the path for all seekers of the truth present in Christ's love and our mother the Church.
We pray for the continued evangelization of those closest to us through this loving ministry. Allow all who receive and accept Your Holy Spirit to give love abundantly and courageously in Your name. Light the path for all those in need. Free those most in need to let go of their inhibition, fears, excuses. Send your angels to them Lord and allow them to awaken to the blessings of Your Holy Spirit.
All of these petitions Lord we humbly seek in the Glory of Your Name. Amen