Saint John Neumann Catholic Church Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

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1 Saint John Neumann Catholic Church Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults Sundays, 9:30 10:45 a.m. in the Faith & Family Center About the RCIA The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the process by which individuals prepare to enter the Catholic Church and receive the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. This involves the parish community as it prepares and welcomes new people into the Church. The Rite speaks of conversion, a spiritual journey. Centered on fostering a deep encounter and ongoing relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church He founded, this journey takes place through distinct stages over time suitable to bring about a catechesis (an echoing back of what is taught), experience with the parish community, and commitment to discipleship in the Catholic tradition. The process is a restoration of the ancient catechumenate, which took shape within the centuries following the era of the Apostles. It was the early Church s way of bringing Christ to the pagan Roman Empire and beyond. The Second Vatican Council ( ) called for the restoration and use of this venerable and powerful method of initiation for the sake of the worldwide Church. Most participants are over the age of 18. Unbaptized children aged seven and up take part according to their own particular needs (the RCIA as Adapted for Children), so long as they are students enrolled at either a Catholic school or the St. John Neumann Parish School of Religion (PSR). Like their older peers, these children would receive all three Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil (Code of Canon Law, 97, 852 1). Objectives A participant who fully engages in the theological, spiritual, moral and liturgical formation that the RCIA offers will be able to: Understand and explain the fundamentals of Catholic teaching. Understand the differences and the similarities between Roman Catholic belief and practices and those of other Christian traditions. Experience the beginnings of spiritual life. Manifest this conversion experience with sincere intention to change their life and enter into a deeper relationship with God in Christ. Develop the practice of calling upon God in prayer, individually and in a gathered assembly. Personally identify what is a sense of Church. Experience the company of Catholics through contact with members of the parish community. Participation The Pre-Catechumenate In reality the RCIA begins when a person calls the Parish Office and says something like, I want to be baptized, or, I d like to know more about the Catholic Church. When one puts words to that desire, they have entered the first stage of initiation, the Period of Evangelization, also known as the Inquiry Period. This has usually begun long before anyone calls the Parish Office. It begins when the person is first evangelized - when they first hear the good news of Jesus from a friend, a co-worker, a neighbor, a spouse, a parent, a stranger. Someone or something has drawn them to the parish and they want to find out more. During this first period, the parish community helps inquirers to discover just what it is they are seeking. Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 1

2 Inquiry sessions take place year-round, for those who ask about the Church at any time. The Inquiry Period for the main Sunday sessions begins in late summer, and continues through early December. Participants who enter later in the year can always join the Sunday morning group to continue their formation. Discernment Interviews are asked of those inquiring about the Catholic Church at least twice during the year; additional interviews may be called for by candidates or requested by the RCIA Coordinator. These discernment interviews are opportunities for one-on-one discussions with the Pastor, the Deacon, the Director or another RCIA team member to enhance the candidate s experience and to offer assistance with any difficulties they may be experiencing, or answer questions yet unanswered. Acceptance and Welcome Once the inquirers have experienced an initial conversion to Jesus Christ, they celebrate the first major public ritual of the initiation process. This first ritual is the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens. During this rite, usually celebrated at Sunday Mass, the new candidates for initiation are publicly welcomed for the first time. They declare their intention to the Church and the Church in turn...accepts them as persons who intend to become its members (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, no. 41). The Rite completes the first stage or period of the initiation process, and opens the door to the second period of the process. Those already baptized as Christians in another faith tradition, or even those baptized in the Catholic Church but who have not yet received all Sacraments of Initiation, take part in a similar ritual called the Rite of Welcome. The church and the parish community recognize their oneness with these Candidates, even though they may not yet be ready to share the Eucharist until the Easter Vigil. They are always considered distinct from the unbaptized. Catechumenate This second stage of the initiation process is the extended period when those to be initiated receive their more formal training in the Christian way of life. There are two groups: Catechumens are those who are unbaptized, and Candidates who are already baptized. During the Catechumenate, all learn more about the Scriptures and the doctrines of the Church. They meet weekly at Mass to hear the Word of God proclaimed. The catechumens and candidates are occasionally dismissed after the homily. That is, they are invited to leave the body of the Church and meet with a Catechist (a trained parish volunteer or member of the Parish Staff) to discuss the Scriptures they heard proclaimed at Mass. This study and reflection is an important part of their formation and helps them prepare for the day when they will receive the Body and Blood of Christ. In addition to the study of the Scriptures, the candidates participate in sessions to help them to understand the doctrinal teachings and practices of the Church. The Catechumens and Candidates also learn about the prayer and worship life of the Church. They learn how to live and serve others in apostolic witness. They develop their relationship with the Catholic community. When they have experienced a true conversion to the Christian way of life (which the Church says is at least one year for the unbaptized), they celebrate the second major ritual in the process of initiation. Rite of Election/Call to Continuing Conversion This second ritual of the RCIA occurs on the First Sunday of Lent, immediately following Ash Wednesday. The Catechumens have been elected (in other words, chosen) by God to receive the Sacraments of Initiation. The Church gives voice to God s election and calls each one of the catechumens by name to sign the Book of the Elect. This is a diocesan celebration and the presider is the Bishop the head of the local Church. The celebration usually takes place at the Cathedral in Columbus, though in many dioceses there are multiple celebrations and sometimes at multiple locations. Earlier, the local parish celebrates a Rite of Sending as a way of celebrating the candidates upcoming election and sending them on to the Bishop for their admission to the final period of preparation. Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 2

3 Period of Purification & Enlightenment This final period of preparation is one of intense spiritual recollection that coincides with the season of Lent. It is a time for reflection and prayer more than teaching. The Catechumens, now called The Elect, purify their minds and hearts by celebrating several rituals. The three purifying rituals, known as the Scrutinies, take place on the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent, strengthen the Elect and help to complete their conversion. The Presentation of the Creed and the Presentation of the Lord s Prayer enlighten the minds of the Elect in the final weeks of their preparation for the sacraments, and help the Candidates to strengthen their own baptismal commitment. Lent ends when the sacred Triduum the three days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter - begins at sunset of Thursday of Holy Week. Finally, Preparatory Rites on Holy Saturday morning serve as the Elect s immediate preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation, which will be celebrated that night at the Vigil. Sacraments of Initiation At some time after sunset on Holy Saturday, the Elect and Candidates celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism (for the Elect), Confirmation and Eucharist. The Elect are plunged into the waters of new birth and come out of those waters reborn in Christ. They are then configured to be more like Christ through the Sacred Chrism (consecrated oil) of Confirmation. Finally, the culmination of their initiation happens when they taste the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. So, too, many of the Candidates will make a Profession of Faith, be confirmed and receive the Eucharist in this most holy of all the Church s liturgies. Period of Mystagogia The process of initiation continues even after the Easter celebration, during the Eastertide period of Mystagogia. The word comes from an ancient Greek word signifying a deepening understanding of the mysteries of our faith. During the Easter season, the neophytes (newly initiated) gather occasionally to deepen their grasp of the great Paschal Mystery into which they have just been incorporated. These Christians have received the Body of Christ and have indeed become part of the Body of Christ through their Baptism. The Church uses the period of Mystagogia to help the neophytes understand and live out their new lives as part of the Body of Christ. Furthermore, Mystagogia is about mission. The new Christians, now part of Christ s body, must now go forth with us to continue the mission of Christ. That s where the whole parish, indeed the entire Church, comes in again. We celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation to make us more like Christ and to enable us to carry out the mission of the entire people of God in the Church and in the world (Rite, General Intro, 2). Through the RCIA we participate in the mission of the Church. We make new disciples and we renew the older, faithful ones. When we commit ourselves, our energy and our resources to the RCIA, we commit the parish to continuing the mission of Jesus in the world. Adapted from The RCIA: A Step-by-Step Look by Rita Burns Senseman, North American Forum on the Catechumenate. Sponsors A sponsor is a Catholic in good standing who is willing to be a companion to a Candidate or Catechumen. As they get acquainted they listen to one another, answer questions, pray together, and connect with the larger group and the parish community. Sponsors find their role to be one that enriches and deepens their own faith as well. It is a very rewarding experience. Sponsors are not meant to have all the answers - in fact, it s better if they don't! Their main role is to be a friend and fellow traveler. Here at St. John Neumann, a registered, active parishioner who is at least 18 years of age and has received all the Sacraments of Initiation may sponsor another person in R.C.I.A., so long as the candidate is not the sponsor s child. In some cases, a candidate s fiancé/e or spouse may be suitable as a sponsor so long as the commitment to the RCIA is met. Baptized non-catholics may be sponsored by their Catholic spouses on a caseby-case basis, as permitted by the Director of Christian Initiation. Fitness to serve as a Sponsor is ultimately determined by the Director, together with the Pastor. Members of the RCIA Team (listed above) are not permitted to act as sponsors, as their roles and responsibilities within the Rite are quite different. Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 3

4 Commitment to the Process Inquiry is, of course, a voluntary, question-driven phase, with no obligations. Once a participant has taken part in the Rite of Acceptance, the public recognition of readiness to enter into the Catechumenate, there is a long-term commitment. The duration of the individual s progress can be as long as a year or more, depending on individual circumstances and exposure to religious discipline and a lived faith. All participants (Catechumens and Candidates) will be expected to: Attend Sunday Mass, as it is a basic requirement of all Catholics and the most fundamental way to come to know what it means to be a Catholic, and to become active in the life of the parish. Attend all sessions and Rites as scheduled. We miss you when you re not there! If a situation occurs where multiple absences occur, the Director and the individual participant will need to evaluate what s happening and what can be done to help move forward. Attend all retreats. Once they are assigned a Candidate or Catechumen, Sponsors are expected to: Attend the Sponsor Orientation and occasional Sponsor Classes. Attend all RCIA sessions, as well as retreats and rites. Accompany their Candidate or Catechumen to Sunday Mass. Child Care We gladly provide childcare during sessions for RCIA Team Members, Candidates and Sponsors. Our volunteer helpers are trained in First Aid and Safe Environment certified. Child Care is located in the Faith & Family Center. Please be sure to sign children in a few minutes prior to the start of sessions, and provide any materials (diapers, wipes, baby food, etc.) to our helpers at that time. Course Material Association for Catechumenal Ministry. RCIA Catechist s Manual. Clinton, MD: ACM, 2005 Catholic Update handouts (Various). Liguori, MO: Liguori Publications, The Catholic Study Bible: New American Bible. Oxford University Press, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition. USCCB Publishing/Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 4

5 RCIA Schedule: Lectionary Readings, Sunday Sessions, Rites & Related Events Sept 12/13: 24 th OT (B) 131: Is 50:4-9a Jas 2:14-18 Mark 8:27-35 Sept 19/20: 25 th OT (B) 134: Wis 2:12, Jas 3:16-4:3 Mark 9:30-37 INQUIRY BEGINS Introduction Have on hand throughout Inquiry: Alpha Session One: Who is Jesus? C0502: A New Look At The RCIA C0604: Bringing Your Marriage Into the Church C1001: Ten Questions about Annulments Sept 26/27: 26 th OT (B) Alpha Session Two: Why Did Jesus Die? 137: Num 11:25-29 Jas 5:1-6 Mark 9:38-43, 45, Oct 3/4: 27 th OT (B) 140: Gen 2:18-24 Heb 2:9-11 Mark 10:2-16 Oct 10/11: 28 th OT (B) 143: Wis 7:7-11 Heb 4:12-13 Mark 10:17-30 Oct 17/18: 29 th OT (B) 146: Is 53:10-11 Heb 4:14-16 Mark 10:42-45 Oct 24/25: 30 th OT (B) 149: Jer 31:7-9 Heb 5:1-6 Mark 10:46-52 Oct 31/Nov 1: ALL SAINTS DAY 668: Wis 3:1-9 Rom 5:5-11 John 6:37-40 Alpha Session Three: How Can We Have Faith? Alpha Session Four: Why And How Should I Read The Bible? Alpha Session Five: How Does God Guide Us? Alpha Session Six: How Can I Resist Evil? Alpha Session Seven: Why & How Should I Tell Others? Pre-Catechumenate Interviews before session Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 5

6 Nov 7/8: 32 nd OT (B) 155: 1 Kgs 17:10-16 Heb 9:24-28 Mark 12:38-44 Nov 14/15: 33 rd OT (B) 158: Dan 12:1-3 Heb 10:11-14, 18 Mark 13:24-32 Nov 21/22: CHRIST THE KING 161: Dan 7:13-14 Rev 1:5-8 John 18:33b-37 Nov 28/29: I Advent (Year C) 3: Jer 33: Thes 3:12-4:2 Luke 21:25-28, Alpha Session Eight: Does God Heal Today? Pre-Catechumenate Interviews before session Alpha Session Nine: What About The Church? C 0601 How the Spirit Guides the Church Pre-Catechumenate Interviews before session Someone s Coming: What is Advent? C 1113A Advent Day-by-Day Pre-Catechumenate Interviews before session NO SESSION -- THANKSGIVING WEEKEND Dec 5 (Saturday) Retreat for Sponsors, Inquirers and recent Alpha participants, 12:00 4:00 p.m., SJN Campus Facilitator: TBA, w/rcia Team Rites of Acceptance & Welcome at 4:00 p.m. Mass, w/dismissal Dec 5/6: II Advent (C) 6: Bar 5:1-9 Phil 1:4-6, 8-11 Luke 3:1-6 CATECHUMENATE BEGINS On Discernment (Paul Stokell) Reflection session in preparation for the Rites of Acceptance and Welcome C 0502 A New Look at The RCIA Dec 8 (Tuesday) 689: Gen 3:9-15, 20 Eph 1:3-6, Luke 1:26-38 Dec 12/13: III Advent (C) 9: Zep 3:14-18a Phil 4:4-7 Luke 3:10-18 SOLEMNITY OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OPENING OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY Dismissal at 7:00 p.m. Mass C 0501 In Search of the Real Mary C 0803 The Rosary: A Prayer for All Seasons Church History, Part I C Peak Moments of Church History C 0100 The Christian Family Tree Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 6

7 Dec 19/20: IV Advent (C) 12: Mic 5:1-4a Heb 10:5-10 Luke 1:39-45 Jan 2/3, 2016: EPIPHANY (C) 20: Is 60:1-6 Eph 3:2-3a, 5-6 Matt 2:1-12 Jan 9/10: BAPTISM OF THE LORD (C) 21: Is 42:1-4, 6-7 Acts 10:34-38 Luke 3:15-16, Jan 16/17: 2 nd OT (C) 66: Is 62:1-5 1 Cor 12:4-11 John 2:1-11 Jan 23/24: 3 rd OT (C) 69: Neh 8:2-4a, 5-6, Cor 12:12-30 Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21 Church History, Part II C 0393 Vatican II: The Vision Lives On C 0905 Treasures of Vatican II: Our Compass for the Future A Year of Grace C 1195 The Liturgical Year: How Christians Celebrate Time C 1201 Holy Day vs. Holiday: Making Christmas Less Commercial The Four Marks of the Church, Part I - Oneness and Holiness (Kevin Murrin) C 1081 Tradition in the Catholic Church: Why It s Still Important C 0585 What Does it Mean to be Church? C 0904 Nine Things That Make Us Catholic The Four Marks of the Church, Part II - Catholicity and Apostolicity (Paul Stokell) C 1082 The Roman Curia How the Church is Run C 0388 Infallibility and Church Authority Sacrament(s) of Initiation C 1095 Confirmation: A Deepening of Christian Identity C 0301 Sacraments of Initiation: Sacraments of Invitation C 0706 Baptism: Our Lifelong Call Jan 26 (Tuesday) Jan 30/31: 4 th OT (C) 72: Jer 1:4-5, Cor 12:31-13:13 Luke 4:21-30 Feb 6/7: 5 th OT (C) 75: Is 6:1-2a, Cor 15:1-11 Luke 5:1-11 Feb 10: Ash Wednesday 219: Joel 2: Cor 5:20-6:2 Matt 6:1-6, On the Mass (Fr. David Sizemore) 7:00 p.m., in Church Sacraments of Healing C 0800 How to Celebrate Reconciliation C 0197 Understanding Sin Today C 0196 Anointing of the Sick Pre-Lenten Interviews before session Sacraments of Service and Vocation (Kevin Murrin) C 0697 Deacons Today: Ministers of Service C 0797 Sacrament of Orders: Priesthood in Transition C 0596 Sacrament of Marriage: Sign of Faithful Love Pre-Lenten Interviews before session PURIFICATION & ENLIGHTENMENT BEGINS 7:30 p.m. Mass: With distribution of Ashes Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 7

8 Feb 13 (Saturday) Lenten Retreat, 12:00 4:00 p.m., SJN Campus Facilitator: TBA, w/rcia Team Rite of Sending: 4:00 p.m. Mass (w/dismissal) Feb 13/14: I Lent (C) 24: Dt 26:4-10 Rom 10:8-13 Luke 4:1-13 What is Lent? (with Discipleship Talk from Parish Group) C 0290 Lent: A 40-Day Retreat C 0302 Lenten Customs: Baptism is the Key C 0204 Ash Wednesday: Our Shifting Understanding of Lent Rite of Election: 7:00 p.m., St. Paul Church, Westerville Feb. 16 (Tuesday) Feb 20/21: II Lent (C) 27: Gen 15:5-12, Phil 3:17-4:1 Luke 9:28b-36 Feb 27/28: III Lent (C) (N.B.: Cycle A readings may apply to Masses!) 28: Ex 17:3-7 Rom 5:1-2, 5-8 John 4:5-42 Mar 5/6: IV Lent (C) (N.B.: Cycle A readings may apply to Masses!) 31: 1 Sam 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a Eph 5:8-14 John 9:1-41 Mar 12/13: V Lent (C) (N.B.: Cycle A readings may apply to Masses!) 79: Lev 19:1-2, Cor 3:16-23 Matt 5:38-48 Mar 19/20: PALM SUNDAY 37: Luke 19:28-40 (w/procession) Is 50:4-7 Phil 2:6-11 Luke 22:14-23:56 On Reconciliation (Fr. David Sizemore) 7:00 p.m., in Church Ministries in the Church (with Discipleship Talk from Parish Group) C 0891 C 0908 Lay Ministry: Not For Just a Chosen Few Creating A Culture of Vocation A Morally Complex World, Part I Human Freedom C 0989 The Ten Commandments: Sounds of Love from Sinai C 0892 Human Sexuality: Wonderful Gift and Awesome Responsibility C 0896 Catholic Morality: Has it Changed? THE FIRST SCRUTINY & PRESENTATION OF THE CREED: 9:00 a.m. Mass (w/dismissal) C 0785 The Creed: Faith Essentials for Catholics A Morally Complex World, Part II Catholic Social Teaching (Kevin Murrin) C 1190 C Years of Catholic Social Teaching What Catholics Should Know About Solidarity THE SECOND SCRUTINY: 11:00 a.m. Mass (w/dismissal) A Morally Complex World, Part III The Dignity of Human Life C 0995 C 0806 The Gospel of Life End of Life Ethics THE THIRD SCRUTINY & PRESENTATION OF THE LORD S PRAYER: 5:00 p.m. Mass (w/dismissal) C 1296 Our Father: The Prayer Jesus Taught The Two Great Commandments (with Discipleship Talk from Parish Group) C 0593 The Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell C 0402 God s Love is Free: The Banquet Says it All C 0494 Our Holiest Week Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 8

9 THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM: Holy Thursday: Evening Mass of the Lord s Supper March 24, 7:00 p.m. Good Friday: Service of the Lord s Passion March 25, 7:00 p.m. Holy Saturday: Rehearsal for Easter Vigil March 26, 10:00 a.m., in Church Anointing of the Elect & Recitation of the Creed, in Church immediately following rehearsal VIGIL OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD: MARCH 26, 8:30 p.m.: All arrive (w/sponsors) no later than 7:30 p.m. A reception immediately follows the Easter Vigil. PARISH RECOGNITION FOR THE NEWLY BAPTIZED AND NEWLY RECEIVED: T.B.A. DIOCESAN RECOGNITION OF THE NEWLY BAPTIZED AND NEWLY RECEIVED: Mass with the Bishop T.B.A. MYSTAGOGY: UNPACKING THE VIGIL & LEARNING DISCIPLESHIP Neophytes (newly baptized and newly confirmed Catholics), experiencing deeper encounters with Christ and His Church, meet twice monthly to discuss their experiences through the periods of Catechumenate, Purification & Enlightenment and the Vigil itself, and learn more about moving forward into a life of discipleship in the parish community. April 3 & 10, May 15 & 22, June 12 & 26 after the 11:00 a.m. Mass. Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 9

10 Catholic Update Handouts for C 0406 God Is Love C 0800 How to Celebrate Reconciliation C 0788 The Trinity: The Mystery at the Heart of Life C 0890 Ten Tips for a Better Confession C 0502 A New Look At The RCIA C 0196 Anointing of the Sick C 0604 Bringing Your Marriage Into the Church C 0797 Sacrament of Orders: Priesthood in Transition C 1001 Ten Questions about Annulments C 0697 Deacons Today: Ministers of Service C 0985 Who Is Jesus? C 0596 Sacrament of Marriage: Sign of Faithful Love C 0101 Jesus Christ: Why the Word Became Flesh C 0391 Tour of a Catholic Church C 0704 Choosing and Using a Bible C 0989 The Ten Commandments: Sounds of Love C 1090 The Lectionary: The Heart of the Bible C 0896 Catholic Morality: Has it Changed? C 0893 Sacraments: It All Starts With Jesus C 0197 Understanding Sin Today C 0889 A Walk Through The Mass C 0892 Human Sexuality: Wonderful Gift and C 0503 The Liturgy of the Eucharist C Years of Catholic Social Teaching C 1001 Do Catholics Worship Images? C 0607 What Catholics Should Know About Solidarity C 0292 An Invitation to Prayer C 0995 The Gospel of Life C 0501 In Search of the Real Mary C 0806 End of Life Ethics C 0803 The Rosary: A Prayer for All Seasons C 0402 God s Love is Free: The Banquet Says it All C 0488 Conversion: Being Born Again and C 0593 The Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven C 0502 A New Look At The RCIA C 0204 Ash Wednesday: Our Shifting Understanding C 0601 How the Spirit Guides the Church C 0290 Lent: A 40-Day Retreat C Peak Moments of Church History C 0302 Lenten Customs: Baptism is the Key C 0100 The Christian Family Tree C 0908 Creating A Culture of Vocation C 0393 Vatican II: The Vision Lives On C 0891 Lay Ministry: not for just a chosen few C 0905 Treasures of Vatican II: Our Compass C 0785 The Creed: Faith Essentials for Catholics C 1195 The Liturgical Year: How Christians Celebrate C 1296 Our Father: The Prayer Jesus Taught Us C 1201 Holy Day vs. Holiday: Making Christmas C 0494 Our Holiest Week C 0585 What Does it Mean to be Church? C 0904 Nine Things That Make Us Catholic C 1081 Tradition in the Catholic Church: Why it s C 1082 The Roman Curia How the Church is Run C 0388 Infallibility and Church Authority C 0301 Sacraments of Initiation: Sacraments of C 0706 Baptism: Our Lifelong Call C 1095 Confirmation: A Deepening of Christian Identity Saint John Neumann RCIA Page 10

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