By Tammy Norcross Reitzler
Like many of you, I started working with RCIA before I ever had any training in it. And, although I wanted to do it right, I simply didn’t know much about the process. And even now, many years and many institutes later I still wonder if I couldn’t be doing things better, with a stronger impact on those joining the church and on the faith community.
I’m sure you know that today, initiation ministry is more important than ever. Pope Francis has been talking almost nonstop about our mission to reach out to those who are most in need of God’s infinite mercy. We need disciples who can do just that kind of missionary outreach.
I believe wholeheartedly that the RCIA process is the perfect tool for making disciples. What if we could maximize the potential of the RCIA so that every person who was touched by the process — catechumens, candidates, team members, the entire parish — became passionate disciples, committed to fulfilling Jesus’ mission to bring all people into God’s loving embrace?
As a member of the diocesan liturgy commission, I am inviting all the RCIA teams of the Davenport Diocese to gather Aug. 14-15 at St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City to learn exactly how to do that. If you’ve never been trained in how to do the RCIA, this is your opportunity. And if you have mastered the RCIA process, your insight and experience will be valuable for the rest of us to learn from. In addition, you will also learn some advanced skills that go beyond just the RCIA basics.
During the institute we are going to do five things:
• Discover exactly how the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults forms missionary disciples.
• Learn how to apply the core principles of the RCIA across all ministries of the parish.
• Acquire the skills to build an evangelizing parish.
• Know how to recruit and build a thriving RCIA team.
• Learn how to grow a pool of passionate, engaged sponsors.
Please pray about this and make an investment in yourself and your team by participating in this RCIA training weekend. I know this is going to change the way you do RCIA.
Our presenters for this day are Nick Wagner and Diana Macalintal from TeamRCIA. Both Nick and Diana have over 25 years of experience helping parishes master the fundamentals of the catechumenate process and build teams that form passionate disciples of Jesus Christ.
The fee for this event is just $45. To learn more and to sign up, go to http:// teamrcia.com/institutes/ or http://www. davenportdiocese.org/lit/litevents.htm.
I look forward to seeing you there and, together, building a powerful RCIA process for the coming year.
(Tammy Norcross Reitzler is director of faith formation for St. Ambrose University Campus Ministry, Davenport. The workshop is made possible in part by a Forum Legacy Grant, which honors the work of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate.)