Articles Under: RCIA

The Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University has officially launched it's LMS (Learning Management System) for online catechist formation in all areas of catechesis; we're adding new courses weekly. You can try it out for as little as $5 for the month, just for enrichment, or $13 for a month with a mentor to accompany you. Check to see if your diocese has partnered with us in order to get automatic continuing education credits (CEUs). However, any parish or school can take advantage of the institutional rate , which gives the ENTIRE catechetical team access to the courses for a... Read more
O Happy Fault! “The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Gen 3:6). How easily this tragic story becomes just that to us—a tragic story —in the Bible or in a sermon, but not recognized in our own personal history. Yet it is our story, often re-enacted in our personal lives. Each Easter Vigil we hear the striking words of the Exsultet, “O... Read more
In her book Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell remarks that “Pew researchers found that attending CCD, youth groups and even Catholic high schools made little or no difference in whether or not an American Catholic teen ended up staying Catholic, becoming Protestant or leaving to become unaffiliated. The best predictor of adult attendance at religious service is strong adult faith.” [i] Without detracting from our efforts with children, the Catholic Church has always intended that adult faith formation receive priority in parish life. Pope St. John Paul II remarks in Catechesi Tradendae (43) that adult catechesis is “the principal form... Read more
The Sacrament of Confirmation is often referred to as “a sacrament in search of a theology” or “a sacrament in search of meaning” among pastoral ministers. Even though the catechetical documents present a consistent theology of confirmation, the diversity in pastoral practice from diocese to diocese, and even from parish to parish within the same diocese, would suggest that the Sacrament of Confirmation has different meanings and even different theologies. Instead, I propose that the diversity in praxis is not the result of a variant theology, but rather of different pastoral approaches. In his book, Confirmation: The Baby in Solomon's... Read more
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 1 Cor 11:1 When I entered the Catholic Church, I lost my “job” of 13 years as a Pentecostal pastor and had to look for other employment. The only available interview was at a Nissan dealership. In the interview, the General Sales Manager (GSM) said they were short staffed and I could have the job if I was willing to train myself by making use of their training videos. I was desperate for a job and said yes! I had no idea what I was in for. I eagerly arrived for... Read more
One of the major temptations of being a leader in the RCIA process is to overlook the significance and power of the Period of Purification and Enlightenment. It is such a busy time in the process—organizing the scrutinies, working on all of the planning for the Easter Vigil, and just working through the exhaustion that comes after journeying through a long process. But it is important for us to remember that this period is one that is filled with great grace and great opportunity for the elect to grow significantly in their relationship with Christ. A Major Catechetical Shift One... Read more
Introduction The Church has been entrusted with the fullness of the truth, God’s final self-revelation in Jesus Christ, who is the “image of the invisible Father” and in whose image each human person is created. Because we know Jesus Christ, we can see and understand the truth about man. For this reason, the Catholic Church has the only adequate anthropology, meaning that she possesses a true and complete understanding of the human person. To an increasingly secular culture this sounds like anti-cultural blasphemy. Why? To answer that question, let’s look at the radically different ideas about reality from which our... Read more
Every January we enter back into ordinary time with the baptism of Jesus at the Jordan by John the Baptist. As John’s father Zachariahprophesied at his birth, John is the “Precursor” who “will go before the Lord to prepare his way” (cf. Lk 1:76). This transition to ordinary time provides a rich context for a fresh reflection on our Christian mission to “prepare the way of the Lord.” In this article, we’ll look at several philosophical proofs of God’s existence and then see how everyday acts can prepare the mind and heart for faith. In order to enter into this... Read more
The purpose of this article is to answer the title-question as succinctly as possible from within the framework of the Second Vatican Council and subsequent papal interpretation by Pope St. John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor (VS). First we must understand two terms in order to more fully grasp the meaning of conscience and how it operates in life, namely, the terms “freedom” and “truth.” Truth That Sets Us Free Freedom and truth are uniquely tethered to one another in the Gospel of John where Jesus says, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and... Read more
A Community’s Conversion Story Today, Franciscan University’s community is well known for its charismatic, evangelical orthodoxy and for its culture of Christ-like faith throughout the student body. What many people do not know is that this was not always the case. In President Emeritus Fr. Michael Scanlan’s book Let the Fire Fall , he outlines the reality of campus life when he arrived in the early 1970s. Alcohol and drugs were the currency of college social life… Many of the students routinely got drunk on Saturday night and slept all day Sunday. Many of them used marijuana regularly to relax... Read more