I’ve got a question that hopefully someone, or some people, can help me get some answers. I want to become a Catholic but I honestly do not have the time to go to RCIA classes. I am a teacher, football coach, softball coach, and on top of that I have a lovely wife and daughter that I use all of my free time to be with. I spoke ot my wife about it, and she-rightfully so-said that she didn’t want me to NOT be home any more than what I already am. Given that, is it possible to go through RCIA online or with a priest in another way? I know it seems like an “out there” question, but it is a sincere question. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
You will need to approach a priest in your local parish and talk to him about your situation.
You do need catechesis, and RCIA is the primary method, but not only method, for this. If you are a candidate (already baptized in another Christian denomination) then there is flexibility regarding how you are prepared and received into the Church which depends upon your catechesis to this point.
So, talk to the priest. It all starts there. It is possible, though rare, to receive private instruction. Priests are stretched so thin now, that this is not something they do frequently.
If for whatever reason the answer is that you need to fully participate in RCIA then I suggest you reprioritize these other things for the 9-12 months it will take you to become Catholic. If becoming Catholic is important to you, you may need come to some other arrangement on the extracurricular activities. It’s not forever, it’s only 1 year.
RCIA is not only catechesis, though that is a part of RCIA.
It’s also being formed in a community and preparing to join a community.
I hope that you will rethink your priorities.
I think you should talk to a priest, or maybe wait till an RCIA coordinator comes on here! lol. I understand you are busy, but just find out the times you need to go. I think most parishes it is one night a week and Sunday morning, but I’m not 100% sure!
Sorry, but I do have my priorities in order. I have signed contracts to teach and coach, and if I were to just quit that would damage my integrity, and it may cost me my job. So, sorry. If I could just throw the other stuff away I would, but responsibilities are responsibilites. If becoming a Catholic were not important to me I wouldn’t have asked the question, and if I had known that people would suggest that my priorities were out of order I wouldn’t have asked.
this is how I might respond if you came to my office with this question. I would assure you that we can be very flexible and have never been unable to accommodate the schedule of anyone who is sincere about studying the Faith and becoming Catholic. That said, I would remind you that no matter what your present religious affiliation, or lack of it, you have obviously been moved by the Holy Spirit to do something about coming closer to God, or you would not even be asking about it. If that is your goal, you must, in justice and for your own benefit, give some time to God each hour, each day, each week, each month. That time has to be spent in prayer, simply in being present with and for God, in private and public worship, and in learning more about Him, His Church, His commandments and how one does show love for Him
If your family resents that time, and is not willing to make some of that “God time” a family affair, your problems run deeper than scheduling, but on the very freedom of the individual, and the reason you are together as a family at all. That is something you will have to explore with your spouse.
No matter how you go about engaging in formal study of the Faith–in a weekly class at a parish, in regular meetings with a priest or other spiritual advisor, on-line, reading books–that is still time not spent in family activities and interaction. So yes I could refer you to many on-line study resources, beginning of course with the CA homepage. But spending hours on-line is not going to make your wife any happier than going to a weekly class.
However that does not answer “How do I become a member of the community of believers who come to God and worship Him together, as he commanded?” You become a member of a community by joining with the community, and that cannot be done on-line or in your own room with a book. There is a time and place for that but to join the community, you have to conform with the definition of membership in that community–the Mystical Body of Christ–and with their rules on how to join.
Every stage of the RCIA process is intended to facilitate that process of belonging, and goes far beyond a formal study of doctrine, although that is an essential element.
Please make an appointment with the pastor of the Catholic parish where you would be going and ask how you can best respond to the Holy Spirit who is moving you in this direction. Part of that response is going to necessitate setting priorities with regard to time, work and family responsibilities, and duty to God. Priority-setting is an activity your wife probably heartily endorses.
Then perhaps becoming Catholic will have to wait until next year when you can go in without a contractual commitment to coach, and will then have more free time.
I was not implying that your priorities are “out of order” but rather than if “something has to give” that something may have to be something other than RCIA if you want to become a Catholic.
So, perhaps your timeline needs to be extended to accommodate everything, perhaps there are some alternatives the pastor will be willing to explore, etc.
Go see the pastor.
I suggest that you read and study for when you have more time to devote to RCIA and your Spiritual life. Maybe looking forward to the time when the contracts expire.