RCIA: Our Program for those Exploring the Catholic Faith

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1 RCIA: Our Program for those Exploring the Catholic Faith

2 Welcome Inquiring Hearts! Whether you have already decided that you want to be Catholic, simply want to explore the Catholic Faith as a possibility, or you are already a Catholic but want to become more integrated in the Faith; we welcome you to this program of ours where we share with you our Faith and our Love for Jesus Christ and his Church. While this program is directed primarily toward incorporating Adults and Families into the Catholic Faith, all are welcome to attend, learn, and discern freely according their needs. For those seeking to enter the Faith, the standard program runs from September through May with individuals being received at the Easter Vigil celebration. The process of bringing an Adult into the Catholic Church in commonly called The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA. We use this term as a title for the program as a whole. When: At St. John Neumann, the RCIA program for runs from September 10 th - May 20 th (please reference the calendar provided in this document). Participants may attend sessions on Tuesdays at 6:30pm-8:00pm or Sundays at 10:00am-11:30am and you may move between Tuesday and Sunday attendance as best suits your Calendar. Let us know if our standard program will not work for you; we can help you find other ways of exploring the Catholic Faith. Where: All sessions will be held in the St. Timothy room, unless otherwise noted. We have provided a helpful map of our campus in this a packet for your use. Nursery: We have babysitting available in the same facility during the sessions. Talk to the RCIA team when you arrive about where it is located. Expectations: We do not want anyone to feel overly burdened by this process; but we do want to respect the integrity of the program. Therefore, we ask the following from those seeking entrance into the Catholic Church. - First, attend Sunday Mass every week. This is the most important expectation we have. - All you need to bring is yourself. Please attend all the sessions and events. While we emphasize attendance (because we all get lazy and put other priorities above our spiritual responsibilities), we also want to recognize that life gets complicated. Let us know if you have difficulty attending our regular formation program. We are willing to work with you! - If you are a Baptized Christian, please obtain some record of your Baptism. Let us know if you have difficulty obtaining this. - Finally, feel free to ask questions at any time. We love questions. RCIA

3 Meet the Presenters: Fr. Bud Roland was ordained in January of 1999, and has been the pastor of SJN since July He has also served at St. Louis Catholic Church and St. Mary Cathedral here in Austin. Fr. Sang Quan is the assistant pastor at SJN. He was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Austin in Prior to the current assignment at SJN, he served as assistant pastor at St Helen in Georgetown. Jonathan Campbell, Director of Social Outreach at SJN, has a background in business and in theology. Jonathan moved to Austin in 2015 and enjoys working with the homeless, the imprisoned, and the refugee. Laura Hughes is the Director of Adult Faith Formation at SJN. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Theology at St. Mary s University in San Antonio. Deacon Michael Glenn is a deacon with the Diocese of Austin and received the Diploma in Pastoral Theology from The University of St Thomas School of Theology at St Mary s Seminary. Deacon Peter Di Guiseppe was ordained a deacon 34 years ago and has a Masters Degree in theology. Coordinating the RCIA program at Our Lady of Grace in New York, for 25 years was a source of great joy for him. Michael Raia is a Project Manager with Jackson Galloway Architects and is currently working on multiple design projects for the Diocese. He has nearly completed his Masters Degree in Liturgy with a focus in Sacred Architecture at the Liturgical Institute in Chicago. Karen May is an author, speaker, and spiritual director. Her latest book, Walking Through Holy Week, will be available for Lent, RCIA

4 RCIA

5 Sunday, September 10 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, September 12 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, September 17 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, September 19 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, September 24 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, September 26 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, October 1 st ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, October 3 rd ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, October 8 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Chapel Tuesday, October 10 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, October 15 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, October 17 th Sunday, October 22 nd Saturday, October 21 st, 8:30am-2:00pm Morris Hall Tuesday, October 24 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, October 29 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, October 31 st ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, November 5 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Chapel (Don t forget to FALL BACK!) RCIA Calendar ORIENTATION: Welcome! Come and allow us to introduce our program. Meet others who are also exploring the Catholic Faith. THE DIVINE NATURE: Let s start with a discussion about God and the Divine Nature. How do we know God? What does this tell us about God? What is the Trinity? CREATION & HUMAN DIGNITY: The universe of temporal and finite realities, both spiritual and material. The order of creation and creation s relationship to God. The excellence of the human person who is made in the image of God; the foundation of the moral order; called to be in a relationship with God. THE FALL FROM GRACE AND SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST: Recognizing our broken relationship with God both in our personal life and as a shared human heritage of brokenness. How can our broken relationship with God be healed? How do we understand the Salvation won for us by Christ? PROTECTING AND PASSING ON THE GOOD NEWS: What is the relationship between the Bible and the Church? What Traditions accompany the Bible and what is their merit? How do we understand the authority of the Church? AN INTRODUCTION TO READING THE BIBLE: What is the Bible? What is its importance? How is it written and structured? A general overview of the nature of Sacred Scripture. NO SESSIONS Plan to attend the Retreat on Saturday PRAYING WITH SCRIPTURE RETREAT: Come apart from the world on this Saturday and spend time in prayer. We will also take a tour of the Church. THE MASS: What is the Mass? THE COMMUNION OF SAINTS: Who are the Saints? How do they become Saints? Do Catholics pray to Saints? Who are some of the most popular Saints and what is their story? Presenter: Fr. Bud Roland and the RCIA Core Team Presenter: Fr. Sang Quan Handout: USCCA Presenter: Jonathan Campbell Presenter: Laura Hughes Presenter: Jonathan Campbell Presenter: Fr. Bud Roland Handout: Bible Presenter: RCIA Core Team Handout: Prayer pamphlet Presenter: Michael Raia Presenter: Laura Hughes Homework: choose Saint for Confirmation Name RCIA

6 Tuesday, November 7 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, November 12 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, November 14 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Field Trip! Sunday, November 19 th ; 11:30 Mass THE WORKS OF MERCY: The Christian Life is overwhelmingly a call to live Charity. In this session we will talk about positive works of Charity we are called to practice. FIELD TRIP: food bank or coat drive? RITE OF ACCEPTANCE AND/OR RITE OF WELCOMING Presenter: Jonathan Campbell Presenter: Jonathan Campbell Tuesday, November 21 nd THANKSGIVING BREAK Sunday, November 26 th Tuesday, November 28 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST: Presenter: Dcn. Peter Sunday, December 3 rd ; 10:00am-11:30am Who is Jesus? How do we understand his relationship with God? Why do we believe in his unique place in History? Sunday, December 3 rd FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT: Do you have your wreath? Tuesday, December 5 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, December 10 th ; 10:00am-11:30am MARY, THE MOTHER OF GOD: Why does Mary hold such a special place in the Church? What is special about her relationship with God and Christ s Mission? Presenter: Laura Hughes Handout: Rosary & pamphlet December 11 th January 8 th CHRISTMAS BREAK: Homework: Find & turn in baptismal certificate and other documents needed. Tuesday, January 9 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, January 14 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, January 16 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, January 21 st ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, January 23 rd ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, January 28 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, January 30 st Sunday, February 4 th Saturday, February 3 rd ; 8:30am-2:30pm Morris Hall THE SACRAMENTS: What are these rituals that Catholics celebrate? This session gives a general overview of the rites of the Church and how they are connected to Scripture. Answer common questions about sacraments. BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION: What is the meaning of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation? How are they related to each other and how are they celebrated? THE EUCHARIST: Eucharist, Holy Communion, The Body and Blood of Christ; what is the foundation and meaning of this consecration of Bread and Wine in the Catholic Liturgy? NO SESSIONS Plan to attend the Retreat on Saturday MARRIAGE & THE FAMILY RETREAT: In this day long retreat we focus on the nature of Marriage, respecting the body as a beautiful expression of Love, and the family as a domestic church. All Candidates and their spouses or fiancés should attend. Presenter: Michael Raia Presenter: Fr. Bud Roland Presenter: Fr. Sang Quan Presenters: Various guest speakers; Physicians, theologians, and therapists. RCIA

7 (Date, Place, and time still to be determined) (Date, Place, and time still to be determined) Tuesday, February 6 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, February 11 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, February 13 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, February 18 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Wednesday, February 14 th Tuesday, February 20 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, February 25 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, February 27 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, March 4 th ; 10:00am-11:30am (Don t forget to SPRING FORWARD!) Sunday, March 4 th ; 9:00am Mass St. John Neumann Church Tuesday, March 6 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, March 11 th ; 11:30am Mass St. John Neumann Church Tuesday, March 13 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm THE RITE OF SENDING: Presentation of Catechumens and Candidates with affirmation by godparents and sponsors THE RITE OF ELECTION: This event is a gathering of all those entering the Church in the Austin area with the Bishop. More information as we approach this event. HOLY ORDERS, RELIGIOUS LIFE AND THE PAPACY: Nuns, Sisters, Monks, Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, Popes; who are these people and why all these titles. What is the meaning of the ministerial priesthood? LENT & THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS: Celebrating the season of Lent as a preparation for reception into the Church. In this session we will introduce you to this particularly beautiful form of meditative prayer based on the life of Christ. ASH WEDNESDAY CONFESSION: THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION: What is Confession and why do we need to confess our sins to a priest? What is the structure and history of Confession? What are indulgences? How do you prepare for your first confession? HEALING & FINAL THINGS (WAS DEATH, JUDGEMENT, HEAVEN, HELL, & PURGATORY): We will explore the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, and look at the end of all things: what is the foundation for our belief in these realities? How can we approach them in a way that nurtures our spiritual life? THE FIRST RITE OF SCRUTINY: The first of a series of public blessings and affirmation in preparation for Baptism. Your sponsor should be there with you. THE CELEBRATION OF TRIDUUM: In this session we talk about the most solemn time of the year for Christians; Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. THE SECOND RITE OF SCRUTINY: The second of a series of public blessings and affirmation in preparation for Baptism. Your sponsor should be there with you. SPRING BREAK FIELD TRIP RCIA Fr. Bud The Bishop of the Diocese of Austin Presenter: Fr. Bud Roland Presenter: Laura Hughes Presenter: Dcn. Peter Handout: Examination of Conscience Homework: Schedule Sac of Rec w/ priest or plan to attend Lenten reconciliation service on??? Presenter: Dcn. Michael Fr. Bud Roland Presiding Presenter: Karen May Note: Sunday is Spring Break, no class. Fr. Bud Roland Presiding Jonathan Campbell

8 Sunday, March 18 th ; 5:30pm Mass St. John Neumann Church Tuesday, March 20 th Sunday, March 25 th Sunday, March 25 th ; 11:30am Mass Tuesday, March 27 th ; 6:30pm Chapel 7:00pm St. John Neumann Church Saturday, March 31 st ; 8:15pm Please arrive at 7:15 St. John Neumann Church Sunday, April 1 st Tuesday, April 3 rd Sunday, April 8 th ; 10:00am Tuesday, April 10 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, April 15 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Chapel Tuesday, April 17 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, April 22 nd ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, April 24 th ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, April 29 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Chapel Tuesday, May 1 st ; 6:30pm-8:00pm Sunday, May 6 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Tuesday, May 8 th Sunday, May 13 th Tuesday, May 15th THE THIRD RITE OF SCRUTINY: The Last of this series of Rites in preparation for those being Baptized. Your sponsor should be there with you. NO SESSIONS - Make time for personal prayer, reflection, and preparation. PALM SUNDAY PROCESSION Candidates and Catachumens process into Mass ANNOINTING & REHEARSAL FOR EASTER VIGIL: ALL MUST BE THERE! All Candidates who are entering the Church with their Sponsors must be at this rehearsal. This is especially true for those to be Baptized. THE EASTER VIGIL; RECEPTION OF THE SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION INTO THE CHURCH: The reception of the Sacraments and your initiation into the Church. Don t be late! EASTER SUNDAY, NO SESSIONS SHARING OF GRACES AND CELEBRATION: A common sharing of our experiences during the reception of the Sacraments at Easter. A time to celebrate this moment in your lives. PERSONAL SPIRITUALITY AND THE MORAL LIFE: How do you continue becoming a part of the Catholic way of life? Helpful habits and traditions that can help you in this process. This event will be a question and answer event highlighting the moral life. Come with your questions as we talk the life of virtue in the Christian life. LITURGICAL PRAYER: An introduction to various formal prayers used in the Church. MINISTRY; BUILDING THE BODY OF CHRIST: During this session we talk about the various ways that you can become an active part of the Catholic Community. MINISTRY PRESENTATIONS: We will have people from various ministries share what they are doing in our Christian community, with invitations our new brothers and sisters to join them. MAY 13TH MOTHER S DAY NO MEETINGS Fr. Bud Roland Presiding Fr. Bud Roland and RCIA staff Fr. Bud Roland presiding RCIA staff Presenters: Dcn. Michael Presenter: Michael Raia Presenter: Jonathan Campbell Handout: SJN Ministry Guide RCIA

9 Sunday, May 20 th ; 10:00am-11:30am Monday, May 21st PENTECOST & END OF THE YEAR CELEBRATION! Bring your family and food to share. The most important work begins! The daily transformation into Christ. EVERYONE! RCIA

10 An Overview of the RCIA process Entering the Catholic faith is much more than receiving instruction; it is integration into the Christian way of life. This involves prayer, embracing a new way of living, building relationships, and participation in the life of the Catholic community. On the other hand, not only are you entering the faith, but the Church is also receiving you with all your gifts and weaknesses. To accompany you and celebrate your entrance into the Faith, the path toward full reception into the Catholic Church is divided into different stages marked by public rites of blessing and prayer. To help you be a informed participant we want to provide you with a general overview of that process. Different Paths The path for people entering into the Catholic Church often varies from individual to individual according to their personal history. Here is an overview of some of those nuances. - Individuals who are not baptized: Those who are not baptized will be preparing for full initiation into the Christian Faith. They will receive all the preparatory Rites and will receive a full initiation into the Faith through the reception of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. - Individuals who are baptized in another Christian denomination: The Catholic Church recognizes the Baptism of most Christian denominations. Those who are validly baptized are already part of the Catholic Church. They are already Christian and therefore Catholic. However, although we are all Christians by Baptism, we are obviously separated by what we believe. Therefore, the term separated Christians is used to refer those of other Christian denominations. In order for these individuals to enter the Catholic Church they need to, after sufficient instruction, Confess their sins to a priest, receive forgiveness of their sins, and make a public profession of Faith in the Catholic Church. After this they can receive the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confirmation (we do not recognize Confirmation or Eucharist of other denominations). - Those who have been Baptized Catholic but who have never been confirmed: These individuals are already Catholic but are preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and/or Eucharist and Reconciliation. They must be confirmed by a Bishop and so they will not receive Confirmation at Easter with the other participants of the program. They need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation before they can receive Confirmation. - Those who have previous Marriages: Those who have previous marriages may have to go through a longer process with additional steps before they can enter the Church. Since each case is very different we will walk you through whatever additional steps are needed. RCIA

11 Stages of the Process: Strictly speaking, RCIA as a process refers to those who are not baptized. The RCIA process is divided into the following parts - Inquiry or Precatechumenate. Those in this stage may be referred to as Inquirers. This is the stage that everyone starts with. Whether you are simply exploring the Catholic Church or simply want to know more before you commit; all participants may be referred to as inquirers at the beginning. - The Catechumenate: This is a stage of integration marked by your first public Rite. You will be presented publicly to the Church and prayed over. It marks a stage where the Inquirer is positively inclined toward entrance into the Faith. It is their coming out moment where they make public that they are actively pursuing the Catholic Faith. The Church recognizes their public witness and blesses them. From this point on the participants are called Catechumens. This will happen at one of the Sunday Masses in February. o Right before this event both Candidates and Catechumenates they will have an interview with one of the instructors to access readiness. o Only those preparing for Baptism are catechumens. Those who are not Catholic but Protestant are referred to as Candidates for Full Communion into the Catholic Faith or simply as Candidates. o Candidates participate in this Rite but have their own separate series of prayers and responses - The Rite of Election: This event occurs during or before Lent. It is an event where all those who are preparing to enter the Church join with others throughout the Austin to be received by the Bishop of Austin. After this point the Catechumens are called the Elect and this stage signifies that the Catechumens are actively preparing themselves spiritually for their reception into the Church at Easter. o As above, Candidates participate in this rite, but the term Elect only refers to those preparing for Baptism. Candidates have their own set of responses and address during this liturgy. - The Scrutinies: There are three liturgies called Scrutinies that occur during the Sunday of Lent as an immediate preparation for reception into the Church. They signify a public casting off of non-christian ways; a gradual preparation for the renunciation of sin at Baptism. o Candidates do not participate in the Scrutinies. - First Confession: All Candidates will need to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation/Confession before they are received into the Church. - The Anointing with the Oil of Catechumens: This happens within the days leading up to the reception of Baptism as a final spiritual preparation. - The Easter Vigil: This is the celebration of Easter by the Church during the evening before. It is the highpoint of the year for the Church and the day when you will be received into the Church. - Mystagogy: This refers to the period of further integration after Easter. It lasts a few more weeks after Easter. RCIA

12 Because Baptized Protestants are already Christian, these stages and terms do not strictly apply to them, although sometimes they are used very loosely for everyone entering the Faith. Those who are already Baptized will have different prayers and address during these preparatory Rites, and sometimes they will not actively participate (such as in the Scrutinies and the Annointing with the Oil of Catechumens). Things to keep in mind - A companion. At the beginning of the year we will pair you with a companion who will assist you during this process. Their purpose is merely to be your friend, encourage you in the process, and help come to know the Faith and the local church community. They will invite you to events in the Parish, invite you to their house, pray with you, and perhaps accompany you at Sunday Mass. - Choose a Sponsor: A sponsor is one who stands with you during the reception of the Rites and the Sacraments. They should be someone who is a faithful Catholic with whom you have a good relationship. Ideally they should be someone in the parish and we ask that you seek someone other than your spouse of fiancé. Everyone should have a Sponsor before Christmas. If you choose, companions can also serve as sponsors. - Choose a Confirmation Name: Everyone entering into the Church is asked to choose a name to signify their new way of living. This name should be the name of a Saint. Candidates should become familiar with the lives of the great Saints in the Christian tradition and choose one that best inspires them. It would be ideal to have chosen this name before the beginning of Lent. - Provide a Baptismal Certificate: Make sure to obtain a copy of a record of Baptism from the Church where you were baptized. If this is not possible due to a lack of record; provide other forms of witness testimony such as written statements and pictures. - Abstain from receiving Holy Communion: The reception of Holy Communion, the bread and wine consecrated at Mass and received by the Faithful, is a sacred sign of a shared Faith and way of life. Therefore, as a sign of Communion, only those who united to the Church by what they believe and how they live should receive Communion. This is different than the theology of other Christian denominations. Therefore, although we strongly encourage all to attend Sunday Mass; we ask that you respect the integrity of this sign and abstain from receiving Holy Communion until you are in full communion with the Church. This sign of respect is required of all who are not Catholic. - Never feel pressured! Many inquirers and Catechumens will go through the RCIA program for several years before they are ready to enter the Faith. We hope that no one will ever feel pressured to stay or leave. - We want to work with you! If you can t attend the classes as scheduled, or life is really busy, let us know. While we have a regularly scheduled program; accommodations and different paths can be discerned. Let us know your difficulties and we will see how we can help. RCIA

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