RCIA: An ongoing parish renewal experience
The Second Vatican Council’s restoration of the ancient catechumenate provides a model for all evangelisation and pastoral formation for Christian discipleship. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process can be considered from the perspectives of the enquirer or the Church. An enquirer journeys through the stages of enquiry, catechumenate, and discipleship. These stages are paired with the Church’s activity in proclaiming the gospel, formation of disciples, pastoral accompaniment, sacramentalisation, and mission. These two perspectives offer the outline for pastoral renewal of parish life. Parishes provide pathways for enquirers to encounter Christ, ongoing pastoral mentoring of seekers (or catechumens), liturgical transformation by means of various rites, including sacramental initiation, and ongoing catechetical formation for disciples towards missionary discipleship. If parishes take the RCIA process seriously they will set forth in the work of transforming of their whole community. The parish will become a place of encounter with Christ for people no matter where they are on their spiritual pilgrimage.
Dr Christine Wood is the Director of the Office of Evangelisation and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Hobart, as well as the Executive Chair of the Christian Initiation Australia Network, a national communication and support network for Australians who share the vision of RCIA. Christine has been active in RCIA for eight years, and in evangelisation and catechetical ministry for 20 years. Besides mission work in Jamaica and Belize, she has also been a university theology and philosophy professor for ten years. She has a heart for helping Catholics become more biblically literate and confident in sharing their faith in Jesus Christ with others. Christine received her theology degrees at Marquette University, Milwaukee, and Franciscan University of Steubenville, USA.
Saturday, 22 October @11.00am AEDT