Conversion Process


#1

I was wondering why the church needs to have such extensive education to become a new Catholic. It seems quite involved with maybe six months of classes etc. Would it not make sense to make it a little easier for people to convert? This is in no way a dig or a criticism I feel I could maybe read one book on basics and take an oath if you will. I’ve seen a few posts here and there talking about evangelization in the Catholic Church being needed. One advantage that the protestant church has is that people who were not born Catholic can just come as they are and fully participate in the church.

This question is not in regards to children, I only speak in terms of adult converts. If some basic criteria are met from adults the rest of the education could come after the conversion and people like me could go to mass and participate in the Eucharist without having to wait until I find a right class for me that I can work into my crazy work schedule. In other words I am wondering what is wrong with an option to test out. In fact if the test came from Rome it might cause a little more Catholic unification as a common standard. I would be willing to even take the courses online if it were endorsed.

-D


#2

I am currently in the RCIA process, and at first I wondered why it took so long, but now, I am thankful for the entire process.

We meet 2 hours a week (one night) and we have a different topic each week. I have learned so much in these past 5 months, that I would not have figured out on my own. Our Deacon runs the class, with some Parishoners on the team. Our Priest has come to several meetings as well. 2000 years of church history and teaching just isn’t something that you figure out over night. You also really feel that you become a part of the community. You get to know other catechumens, and team members, and have a freedom to ask and inquire about any subject.

Through this class, I have read so many books and websites, that I find myself teaching my cradle catholic husband many things. Our entire family has benefited from this process.

It would be pretty impossible to evangelize without this knowledge to back it up.

I think rushing through it would not give the time it deserves to learn and sink in. The more you learn, the more questions you have, and the more you want to know.

As our priest said on the first night “This is the most important thing in your life” and I have kept that thought with me since that night.

I can participate in the church - and am encouraged to do so. I just cannot take communion yet. Which now that I fully understand the Eucharist, I understand, accept, and it will mean that much more to me when I can receive it with my family and church.

When I started, I knew I needed this, but now, I feeel a joy and fullness that I would not have experienced without RCIA. It truly is a blessing.

Living your life for Christ isn’t always “easy” sometimes you have to make the time. The easy way isn’t always the right way. In our class we have two people who’s job keep them from many of the classes, they do the work, come when they can, and often the Deacon, priest or other team member will meet with them privately between classes. So it can be done on any schedule!

God Bless :slight_smile:


#3

Thank you for your reply,

I guess I just have to pay my dues and put in the time somehow. It’s just an odd feeling to have the truth of the Eucharist made clear to me then not be able to have it lol. I used to drive tractor trailor trucks years ago, I would feel odd taking my driving test over again for a regular car. I dont say that in arrogance I just feel that I am ready to participate in mass now. But hey rules are rules and one thing I have these days is respect for the Church teachings.

-D


#4

It took the Apostles three years of walking with Jesus before they received the Last Supper. Before their eyes were opened. This is a life long process. You want a microwaved TV Dinner? We are speaking about Christianity as a Whole. Savor every moment as you go through the Process of becoming Whole in Christ.

God Bless


#5

[quote=catholic-rcia]It took the Apostles three years of walking with Jesus before they received the Last Supper. Before their eyes were opened. This is a life long process. You want a microwaved TV Dinner? We are speaking about Christianity as a Whole. Savor every moment as you go through the Process of becoming Whole in Christ.

God Bless
[/quote]

lol,

No I’m not looking for a spiritual TV dinner, thank you for the reminder to be patient as a student.

-D


#6

When our Deacon spoke of the Rites of Welcoming, and the 3 Scrutinys, he said that after we would leave, and go to the church hall for a discussion while the congregation received the Eucharist. (during a normal mass, we just stay, but at these special ones we leave) When asked why we had to leave for these he said “Just think how special it will be when you get to stay and join in with the entire church,you will never forget it.” So I say, savor the experience!


#7

It takes time, plus we aren’t to take our faith lightly, like walking into a supermarket, and if we don’t like what they’re selling go to another.


#8

[quote=(Joshua)]It takes time, plus we aren’t to take our faith lightly, like walking into a supermarket, and if we don’t like what they’re selling go to another.
[/quote]

Very true,

In my case it’s just a desire to be able to be as close as possible to the Lord. Six months feels like a long wait, but I will do it. I go to the adoration chapel a few times a week to pray and that is sufficiant for me in the interum. Theres a great Church in my area that has a 24-7 adoration chapel that I can go to at night after work.

-D


#9

About 1 1/2 years ago, Our Sunday Visitor (a weekly Catholic national newspaper) did a series on the RCIA program. Among other things, it stated that about 50% of those joining the Church were leaving (falling away) within a relatively short period of time.

For someone who has a fairly strong background as a Christian, the period of time may appear too long if they don’t have a lot of doctrinal differences, and have been doing a lot of reading for a year, or two or more previous to joining the program. If, however, they have a stron Christian background but have stron doctrinal differences with the Church, or do not have a strong background at all, 6 months may not be anywhere near enough time.

The Church doesn’t require someone joining to become a theologian. But we do have 2000 years of reflecting on Christ, the Old and New Testamant, the Tradition handed down from the Apostles, and the rich heritage of people who have gone before us. It takes time to learn what we teach, understand what we teach, and accept it.

We don’t believe that we are just “another Church”; we believe that we have the fullness of God’s revelation. Faith requires nurturing. It all takes time.


#10

[quote=Darrel]I was wondering why the church needs to have such extensive education to become a new Catholic. It seems quite involved with maybe six months of classes etc. Would it not make sense to make it a little easier for people to convert? This is in no way a dig or a criticism I feel I could maybe read one book on basics and take an oath if you will. I’ve seen a few posts here and there talking about evangelization in the Catholic Church being needed. One advantage that the protestant church has is that people who were not born Catholic can just come as they are and fully participate in the church.
[/quote]

Hi Darrel! :wave:

The reason that Protestants can just go and fully participate in church is because what they are participating in that can be participated in anywhere. It’s basically a time of “praise and worship” with a sermon.

As Catholics we actually participate in the body and blood of the Lord (1 Cor 10:16). We aren’t merely observers. As members of the holy and royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5,9)our role is much, much more and it’s essential that we understand what’s going on there.

Protestants are free to go from church to church and embrace whatever happends to be preached from that pulpit.

Catholics publically profess their faith in what the Catholic Church teaches at every Mass. The Church wants to make sure that Catholics really and truly understand what it is they are professing to believe.

So, Catholics go through RCIA. If, after being educated, the Catholic faith is truly what they feel the Lord is calling them to embrace, the receive the sacraments of initiation. There are other sacraments which bring one into full communion with the Body of Christ (which you know) so it really isn’t all about “feeling” ready to receive communion. It’s about being fully incorperated into the Body of Christ and receiving as a member of that Body.

In other words I am wondering what is wrong with an option to test out. In fact if the test came from

Rome it might cause a little more Catholic unification as a common standard. I would be willing to even take the courses online if it were endorsed.

It’s about what’s in the heart, not a score on a test. Use this time of being anxious to receive the real presence of the Lord as a time of preparation. Anticipate joyfully! You are going to receive the greatest gift that God has ever given us!!

Welcome home!!! :clapping:

In Christ,
Nancy


#11

[quote=Darrel]I was wondering why the church needs to have such extensive education to become a new Catholic. It seems quite involved with maybe six months of classes etc.
[/quote]

It actually comes form the “Teachings of the Apostles”, and other first and 2nd century instructions handed down from the Apostles to the first post-apostolic leaders of the infant Church. It actually was originally much more rigid. For example, from the time of the Apostles catecumens were dismissed from the Divine Liturgy right after the Gospel readings. Many of these ancient writings, as well as expositions on them by the likes of Ignatius (First Bishop of Antioch after Peter and first Christian to be fed to the lions in the Roman Colleseum), Polycarp (also a martyr), Clement of Rome, Barnabus (companion of Paul) and others are available and very instructive about the Faith as passed on by the Apostles.

May the Lord be with you.


#12

The reason that Protestants can just go and fully participate in church is because what they are participating in that can be participated in anywhere. It’s basically a time of “praise and worship” with a sermon.

As Catholics we actually participate in the body and blood of the Lord (1 Cor 10:16). We aren’t merely observers. As members of the holy and royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5,9)our role is much, much more and it’s essential that we understand what’s going on there.

Protestants are free to go from church to church and embrace whatever happends to be preached from that pulpit.

I see,

[font=Arial][size=2]This clears things up a bit for me; in my new understanding of the Eucharist it is also important for me to have a full global knowledge of the entire mass in its form of worship. With regards to the comment about not being merely observers that was the piece I was missing in comparison to the traditional protestant service. You’re not just going to Church anymore. TY for the explanation.[/size][/font]

-D


#13

[quote=Darrel]Very true,

In my case it’s just a desire to be able to be as close as possible to the Lord. Six months feels like a long wait, but I will do it. I go to the adoration chapel a few times a week to pray and that is sufficiant for me in the interum. Theres a great Church in my area that has a 24-7 adoration chapel that I can go to at night after work.

-D
[/quote]

Well Darrel, your on the right track, and an old saying if you haven’t heard it before is, “anything worth having is worth waiting for”.

And if you know about the parable of the seed and the teaching in there.
So the Church is planting the seed of Faith, and you know what happens if it doesn’t land on good soil.
The birds (lucifer & his legions) may come and eat it.

===================================================================

John 3 And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying: Behold the sower went forth to sow.
4 And whilst he soweth some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and ate them up.
5 And other some fell upon stony ground, where they had not much earth: and they sprung up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth.
6 And when the sun was up they were scorched: and because they had not root, they withered away.
7 And others fell among thorns: and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 And others fell upon good ground: and they brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, and some thirty fold.
9 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.


#14

While waiting try to get this book: “A New Look at the Sacraments” by William Bausch.

There is a chapter on Christian initiation and it goes through the process that the early christians went through. They even name a person and take you step by step through his process and his thoughts. It was sometimes 3 years to fully understand everything Jesus gave to us. By the end of his process, you feel like you went through it with him and the anticipation is almost overwhelming! I actually cried for this person when he was able to receive the Holy Eucharist!

It will help you to understand what will take place on Holy Saturday night at your initiation as it’s almost identical to what the first christians went through. Alot of the symbolisim is explained as well.

This is a great book on all the Scaraments of the church. It goes through how the sacraments came about and how they’ve evolved over the centuries. You really come away with a better understanding of the sacraments.


#15

[quote=(Joshua)]Well Darrel, your on the right track, and an old saying if you haven’t heard it before is, “anything worth having is worth waiting for”.

And if you know about the parable of the seed and the teaching in there.
So the Church is planting the seed of Faith, and you know what happens if it doesn’t land on good soil.
The birds (lucifer & his legions) may come and eat it.

===================================================================

John 3 And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying: Behold the sower went forth to sow.
4 And whilst he soweth some fell by the way side, and the birds of the air came and ate them up.
5 And other some fell upon stony ground, where they had not much earth: and they sprung up immediately, because they had no deepness of earth.
6 And when the sun was up they were scorched: and because they had not root, they withered away.
7 And others fell among thorns: and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 And others fell upon good ground: and they brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, and some thirty fold.
9 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
[/quote]

Very true again,

Thank you for the replies, I hope to get out to your Country some day, I’m mostly Irish and have always wanted go there. Thank you all for your answers they have been most helpful.

-D


#16

Darrel I really LIKE the lengthy process because not only does it allow you to determine if you REALLY want to become a Catholic, it allows you to be a contributing Catholic instead of a seat warmer. I treasure our time together in RCIA and in dismissal. It’s helpful to hear others’ perspectives, their questions, their doubts and concerns. Plus it allows us to get to know a number of people in the parish. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about joining the Catholic church is that it’s hard to get to know people if all you do is show up for Mass once a week. Our priest does a number of the classes and attends most of them. The RCIA team is there, totally supportive. Others fill in on different subjects–the deacon, the church administrator, a member who has a master’s in pastoral care. There is SO MUCH to learn. I just wish I’d started oh about ten years ago!

Compare this to my experience with two other churches. To “join” the Unitarian church all you do is meet with the minister for an hour and sign a membership book. When I joined the Methodist church all I had to do is say I wanted to become a Methodist. They recommended taking the four weekly sessions that explained the basics. But it was optional. Quite honestly I was a Methodist for seven years and was unaware of a number of their beliefs and practices. I could have saved myself a lot of time had I understood their position before I joined.

Lisa N


#17

[quote=Darrel]Very true again,

Thank you for the replies, I hope to get out to your Country some day, I’m mostly Irish and have always wanted go there. Thank you all for your answers they have been most helpful.

-D
[/quote]

Thanks, well at one time I wanted to move to a sunnier climate, but I guess I’m stuck with it :slight_smile: farmilarity breeds contempt as they say.
It’s fine but I would like to travel more, maybe the Usa, Spain, Mexico, oh well (sigh) dream on !!!

Oh if you come, try the summer, because these weather patterns have went haywire.

And if you can bottle sunshine, bring a few bottles of that as well :frowning:


#18

[quote=Ignatius]It actually comes form the “Teachings of the Apostles”, and other first and 2nd century instructions handed down from the Apostles to the first post-apostolic leaders of the infant Church. It actually was originally much more rigid. For example, from the time of the Apostles catecumens were dismissed from the Divine Liturgy right after the Gospel readings. Many of these ancient writings, as well as expositions on them by the likes of Ignatius (First Bishop of Antioch after Peter and first Christian to be fed to the lions in the Roman Colleseum), Polycarp (also a martyr), Clement of Rome, Barnabus (companion of Paul) and others are available and very instructive about the Faith as passed on by the Apostles.

May the Lord be with you.
[/quote]

Not to mention, that just as (a previous poster noted) it took the Apostles 3 years of walking and instruction from Christ himself, so too the catechumenate in the ancient church also lasted 3 years. With that perspective, 6 months doesn’t seem too bad after all, huh? :smiley:


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