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  #1  
Old Oct 7, '07, 2:58 pm
jasmine_n_july jasmine_n_july is offline
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Default RCIA Candidate Questions

I contacted my local parish in July and told them I wanted to convert, and I've been coming to weekly mass since then, and part of RCIA since August.

I want to become Catholic because I feel like the fullness of Christ is in the Church in the way that it isn't in Protestant churches. I was baptized in a Southern Baptist church 15 years ago when I was 18. After 3 years, I started going to an Assembly of God church. I stopped going to church for four years, and then felt a very strong desire to return to the Lord last February. (Ironic this desire came during Lent). I was immediately lead to the Catholic church, rather than to my old churches (long story).

If someone were to ask me the primary reason why I want to be Catholic, I would tell them it is because of the Eucharist. From the very first time I ever came to Mass, I could feel the presence of the Lord really *there*. Even though I don't participate in Mass, I don't need to participate to feel that presence. I have come to empty sanctuaries several times to pray before the tabernacle- and it is really comforting to have such a holy place open all of the time for prayer. There are other reasons, too, but that is probably the primary reason.

So, my question, and why I am posting is because I am not feeling right about a few things in the RCIA process I am going through. I was happy with everything until maybe a week or two ago. First, I don't know who my sponsor is supposed to be, and we are supposed to go through the Rite of Welcoming very soon. Someone was assigned and then was "reassigned" for some unknown reason. That just doesn't make me feel good, especially since we've been doing RCIA for two months. Second, we were supposed to have a time of spiritual reflection as a group before the Rite of Welcoming, but that's been changed, and it's not really going to happen. I feel slightly resentful- as if I have been gyped out of something really precious and important. I am not going to complain, but I wish that they had chosen to handle this differently.

But what really bothers me is this.. I am not a catechumate, but I am scheduled to go through everything the catechumate are with the BOW at mid-mass during the rest of the RCIA process until Easter. I don't mind that- even though I really, really, in my heart feel that I am ready for first communion, and wish I could just have that sacrament, what bothers me is that they want me and my children to have all of our sacraments at the same time on Holy Saturday. Which means that I will not be able to participate or even witness my children being baptized, because I'll be at the front of the church going through another part of the ritual. And it means that it is going to be stressful and chaotic and I have no idea who is going to take care of my infant who is going to be baptized right before or after I am receiving the sacraments. I don't think it should all happen on the same day, and I am bothered by this.

I am asking myself why I am so bothered by this- and if it is the Holy Spirit telling me that this isn't right, or if it is just the enemy attacking my decision to join the Church and receive the sacraments.

I would appreciate opinions. Thanks
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  #2  
Old Oct 7, '07, 5:38 pm
ryanoneil ryanoneil is offline
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

Trust in the Lord. If your being tested, it's for the greater good. Like an athlete exercises to strengthen their muscles, we have our faith, patience, and resolve, exercised so they become stronger.

God Bless,

Ryan
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  #3  
Old Oct 7, '07, 6:08 pm
SuscipeMeDomine SuscipeMeDomine is offline
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

It sounds like you're stressing about problems that don't even exist. Talk to your priest or RCIA leader about this and perhaps they can reassure you. And remember the words of Julian of Norwich: All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of thing will be well.
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  #4  
Old Oct 7, '07, 7:47 pm
Texas Roofer Texas Roofer is offline
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Join Date: September 7, 2006
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

Well there is a lot in your post First I think the standard Saturday Vigil would be great for a family baptism, I would suggest having some one photograph the event. In the Saturday vigils I attend the front of the Church is Catechumens, Candidates, Sponsors, and Godparents. So you should have an excellent view. Second you should be beside your children and their Godparents during their baptism ( you should not be in the pew at that time). Third the liturgist and you should review this well in advance. Fourth, sponsors and Godparents can be different so if you are not thrilled with your sponsor have someone (Catholic) you like be a Godparent for you. #5 BOW think about it being Catholic is a life time event, many of us do BOW for years (yes, years) so you will do it 12-20 times.

Hope that helps
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  #5  
Old Oct 8, '07, 12:54 am
quiet52 quiet52 is offline
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Join Date: June 27, 2007
Posts: 2,129
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine_n_july View Post

So, my question, and why I am posting is because I am not feeling right about a few things in the RCIA process I am going through. I was happy with everything until maybe a week or two ago. First, I don't know who my sponsor is supposed to be, and we are supposed to go through the Rite of Welcoming very soon. Someone was assigned and then was "reassigned" for some unknown reason. That just doesn't make me feel good, especially since we've been doing RCIA for two months. Second, we were supposed to have a time of spiritual reflection as a group before the Rite of Welcoming, but that's been changed, and it's not really going to happen. I feel slightly resentful- as if I have been gyped out of something really precious and important. I am not going to complain, but I wish that they had chosen to handle this differently.

But what really bothers me is this.. I am not a catechumate, but I am scheduled to go through everything the catechumate are with the BOW at mid-mass during the rest of the RCIA process until Easter. I don't mind that- even though I really, really, in my heart feel that I am ready for first communion, and wish I could just have that sacrament, what bothers me is that they want me and my children to have all of our sacraments at the same time on Holy Saturday. Which means that I will not be able to participate or even witness my children being baptized, because I'll be at the front of the church going through another part of the ritual. And it means that it is going to be stressful and chaotic and I have no idea who is going to take care of my infant who is going to be baptized right before or after I am receiving the sacraments. I don't think it should all happen on the same day, and I am bothered by this.

I am asking myself why I am so bothered by this- and if it is the Holy Spirit telling me that this isn't right, or if it is just the enemy attacking my decision to join the Church and receive the sacraments.

I would appreciate opinions. Thanks
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  #6  
Old Oct 8, '07, 1:19 am
quiet52 quiet52 is offline
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Join Date: June 27, 2007
Posts: 2,129
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine_n_july View Post

So, my question, and why I am posting is because I am not feeling right about a few things in the RCIA process I am going through. I was happy with everything until maybe a week or two ago. First, I don't know who my sponsor is supposed to be, and we are supposed to go through the Rite of Welcoming very soon. Someone was assigned and then was "reassigned" for some unknown reason. That just doesn't make me feel good, especially since we've been doing RCIA for two months. Second, we were supposed to have a time of spiritual reflection as a group before the Rite of Welcoming, but that's been changed, and it's not really going to happen. I feel slightly resentful- as if I have been gyped out of something really precious and important. I am not going to complain, but I wish that they had chosen to handle this differently.

But what really bothers me is this.. I am not a catechumate, but I am scheduled to go through everything the catechumate are with the BOW at mid-mass during the rest of the RCIA process until Easter. I don't mind that- even though I really, really, in my heart feel that I am ready for first communion, and wish I could just have that sacrament, what bothers me is that they want me and my children to have all of our sacraments at the same time on Holy Saturday. Which means that I will not be able to participate or even witness my children being baptized, because I'll be at the front of the church going through another part of the ritual. And it means that it is going to be stressful and chaotic and I have no idea who is going to take care of my infant who is going to be baptized right before or after I am receiving the sacraments. I don't think it should all happen on the same day, and I am bothered by this.

I am asking myself why I am so bothered by this- and if it is the Holy Spirit telling me that this isn't right, or if it is just the enemy attacking my decision to join the Church and receive the sacraments.

I would appreciate opinions. Thanks
Hi Jasmine,

All who are involved in the RCIA -- the team and sponsors -- are volunteers. Please don't second-guess the reasons you don't see more support. Perhaps some people who had committed to being sponsors, or to help with a spiritual activity, found they couldn't do it. Yes, we want the parishioners to more freely offer their help as sponsors and in other ways -- but the RCIA team can't make them do it.

The Rite of Welcoming is a rite during the Mass which serves as a "gateway" to a particular period in your process -- you are committing to seek catechesis (echoing down of the faith). During the catechumenate, participants learn about what the Catholics believe, about how to live the beliefs (including moral code), and about how we worship and pray, publicly and privately. Your RCIA may be having a difficult time finding a sponsor for you -- they may need to ask a parishioner to "stand in" as your sponsor during the rite. All of us Christians are called to be forgiving -- this may be a good opportunity to practice. Your RCIA team is doing their best to help you on your journey.

As for your concerns about the Easter Vigil Mass -- I have never witnessed the sacraments being administered simultaneously, as you describe. I think you might be misunderstanding what "all at the same time" means. Your RCIA coordinator probably meant to say "all on the same night." There is a particular order within the liturgy. After the Service of Light and the Liturgy of the Word, the Sacraments of Initiation are celebrated. Baptism is celebrated (after invitation to prayer, and the singing of the Litany of the Saints, blessing of the water). All present then renew their baptismal promises. Then the candidates for reception (you) and sponsors proceed to the sanctuary to make a profession of faith and are received into the Church. Then Confirmation is celebrated. Then the Liturgy of the Eucharist is begun.......
Please talk with your RCIA coordinator about your concerns. Keep praying as your journey during this process ... and enjoy.
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  #7  
Old Oct 8, '07, 4:13 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

many concerns I will address one.
at the Easter Vigil you will not be doing one thing while others in your family receive other sacraments. candidates and catechuments are seated in the front, with sponsors, godparents and families. After lighting the new fire, procession, lighting paschal candle, readings, blessing the water of baptism etc. come the baptisms and all those, including infants and children if entire families are entering the Church, are brought forward by parents and godparents for baptism, one at a time, by pouring or immersion. While they are getting dressed, the rest of the congregation makes a profession of faith, and there is some music and quiet time, depending on how long this takes. The newly baptized are clothed in a white garment and receive their baptismal candle. Then all those to be confirmed (including the newly baptized) come forward for that rite. After this, Mass proceeds as usual and the newly initiated come forward for first communion in the usual manner.

Your experience will be some variation on this, there is a lot of latitude and the actual sequence of events depends on the size of the group, logistics, how many priests and deacons are available, local custom, bishop's rules etc.

Your other concern is quite valid. If you have already been baptized you should not have to leave Mass after the readings, you should be present for the entire Mass. The distinction between baptized and unbaptized is being preserved, in that you receive the rite of welcoming, they receive rite of acceptance, so that is good, but you are within your rights in asking the priest the reason for this practice.

also you will probably not be given detailed info on exactly what is going to happen at every step of the way, until right before it happens, because it would be too confusing, you will be told at the right time so as to prepare properly for each stage.
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Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
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  #8  
Old Oct 8, '07, 8:49 am
jasmine_n_july jasmine_n_july is offline
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Join Date: October 7, 2007
Posts: 10
Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

Thanks for the responses! It sounds like I should just relax and not worry about how RCIA is proceeding. I was most worried that I would miss something on Holy Saturday because it was just more convenient to have us all receive our sacraments together, but it sounds like that is the wrong conclusion, and that it is common for families to go throught this on Holy Saturday. In that case, I'm really looking forward to it, and will just have someone take pictures of my baby being baptized.

The sponsor thing bothers me because there was someone assigned, and that person still attends the RCIA meetings, and yet the director and the former sponser are very vague about why all of the sudden she isn't my sponsor anymore. They both say, "I'm not really sure what happened", and that cannot be true. One of them knows what happened.

I've decided not to let it bother me. On a scale of 1-10, the importance of this is probably a 2 to me. I think it's pretty obvious that this person just doesn't like me, and the RCIA director is not being honest about it. But, those human things just happen, and isn't really important when it is compared with being able to enter the Church. The joy of that is just more important, so I will just let it go.
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  #9  
Old Oct 8, '07, 3:41 pm
Texas Roofer Texas Roofer is offline
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine_n_july View Post
......................
The sponsor thing bothers me because there was someone assigned, and that person still attends the RCIA meetings, and yet the director and the former sponser are very vague about why all of the sudden she isn't my sponsor anymore. They both say, "I'm not really sure what happened", and that cannot be true. One of them knows what happened......

My guess is the other way around, if you do not know then your earlier sponsor is more likely to 1) have been switched to alleviate anotherís undesirable pairing, or 2) concerned about their ability to sponsor this year. Sponsors are people to with their own problems cropping up.

I have personally asked catechumens if they were okay with their sponsor selection, and told them if they were unhappy I would make the switch just as you saw it. I would be the public "bad guy" Oh, the thanks you get as a volunteer sometimes
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  #10  
Old Oct 10, '07, 6:29 am
Melo Melo is offline
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

Jasmine,
Congratulations and Welcome!

About the Easter Vigil....when I went through RCIA one of the women that was with me also had a baby being baptized. She was very much a part of the baptism. It was actually such a beautiful part of the service. Touching to see the mom and baby going through the ceremony together.

The sponsor...maybe the sponsor decided that they just weren't ready spiritually/emotionally/whatever to 'be' a sponsor. I would try not to take it personally. I would howerver ask someone about getting another sponsor. From my experience, it was nice to have someone to go with questions/concerns.

The Easter Vigil service will be absolutely amazing. Enjoy it!

melo
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  #11  
Old Oct 10, '07, 9:27 pm
DaughterSorrow DaughterSorrow is offline
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Join Date: September 13, 2006
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Default Re: RCIA Candidate Questions

Dear Jasmine,

I am so happy for you! Saturday Vigil will be beautiful! And to have it happening for your whole family will be one of the most memorable evenings of your life. Congratulations!!

I think you are right to be mildly concerned about your sponsor situation and should bring this up to the priest or deacon that runs the program. My husband is a sponsor coordinator (volunteer) for our parish RCIA program and they go through an interview process to understand why the person wants to sponsor and just to get to know them so that a sponsor selection for each catachumen and candidate is made thoughtfully and prayerfully. That being said, all selections were made prior to the Rite of Welcoming. I think if you presented this concern to your deacon/priest that you really wanted to know who your sponsor is, they would make it a priority. Until then, enjoy the RCIA classes and work with the group there. It'll happen before you know it!

In Peace,
DS
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And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. ~ Romans 12:2
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