The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

RCIA & Adult Faith Formaton: RCIA Adapted for Families—It’s All About the Parents, Part Two

Authored by Lori Smith in Issue #7.2 of Catechetical Review

Developing a Process

“And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house.” Acts 16:32

In part one we established the rationale for the wise process of the RCIA to move to the forefront of our endeavors for evangelization and catechesis of entire families. Taking guidance from the Directory for Catechesis, our focus is on a “catechesis of catechumenal inspiration for those who have received the sacraments of initiation but are not yet sufficiently evangelized or catechized or for those who desire to resume the journey of faith.”[1] This article explores the elements involved in developing a process incorporating post-baptismal evangelization and catechesis for parents, inspired by the RCIA model. 

First Things First

A warm welcome with time set aside for conversation with the parents is essential as we begin our relationship with them. In other words, the more familiar model of “signing up” or “registering” the child for sacramental prep does not work in this situation. At this point we are most interested in meeting the parents and establishing a relationship.

Once a rapport has been developed, it is essential to determine why the parents believe it is important to bring their children of catechetical age to be baptized now and where they are in their faith journey. It is critical to begin looking into what their lived experience of “church” has been to determine what (if any) relationship they have with the person of Christ. Often, we find a bridge of trust with the Church itself through reception of sacraments as children, through relatives, etc., but not with Jesus Christ. They somehow sense God’s call but are often unable to articulate it. Our mission is to take them from where they are, bring them into the merciful arms of Jesus, and form them to be his disciples so that they, in turn, can form their children.

[1] Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, Directory for Catechesis (Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2020), no. 62 (hereafter cited in text as DC); emphasis original.

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

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