Pastoring from the Initial Inquiry to the Rite of Acceptance
How do we, as parish and as an RCIA team, prepare inquirers for the momentous commitment to become one of the Church’s own? Apart from the sacraments of initiation, the first major liturgical gateway is the most significant one for both catechumens and candidates. The ritual book emphatically states that the “Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens is of the utmost importance” because these individuals are, “assembling publicly for the first time [to] declare their intention to the Church and the Church in turn, carrying out its apostolic mission, accepts them as persons who intend to become its members” (RCIA 41). Inquirers should not go through this Rite unless they have a desire to learn and live the Catholic way of life, and know the essence of what they are choosing. For her part, the Church, as represented by the pastor and RCIA leadership, must also be certain that this decision is appropriate and not premature, that these inquirers intend to become Catholics. This workshop helps parishes to understand the careful pastoral work that leads to this place of decision.