Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Continuing Education

Last week the clergy of the diocese was at St. John Catholic Center for three days of continuing education. The topic was the further implementation of the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) that has been mandatory since its publication in 1988. I must say that there are many, including myself, who have not fully implemented the rite as it should have been done twenty years ago. Of course, twenty years ago I was not a pastor, and there was very little reason for me to study it.
Now, however, as we have seen a great growth of persons seeking admission to the Church, it is more necessary than ever to persuade the people that the process of initiation is a ministry of all the faithful.
I have done something to increase the awareness of the congregation regarding its part in the process of initiation by moving the celebration of infant baptism to the main Mass of Sunday, rather than doing it in a private ceremony. This is not, of course, a further extension of the RCIA, but it does at least make the congregation part of the celebration even if only as witnesses.
Now it is necessary to gather our initiation team and get going with the complete implementation of the RCIA so that it becomes a normal part of the liturgical year, and a normal part of the engrafting of new members into the Church