Convert Seeks Guidance II: the Clarification

Hello!

I’m looking for help learning the Catholic faith, and needed to start a new thread because the other one had started to go stale. Given my prior experience (here and elsewhere) trying to find answers to my questions, I must make a few remarks before asking.

I am trying to prepare for confirmation on Easter Vigil and our parish RCIA instructors are not getting the job done. I have come to you wonderful people for help because time is running out.

Please do not assume prior knowledge. Please to not assume you know my intentions. Please do not accuse me of scrupulosity. I am sincerely trying to learn what it means to be Catholic, and deserve to be taken at my word.

Also, please do not recommend books. I have spent hundreds of dollars on Catholic books this year and probably have whatever you’re going to recommend. I’m out of money and need to communicate with a human.

Now, on to the questions…

**1. I hear that there is some special thing that catechumens do during Lent. What is that?

  1. Is the process different for catechumens vs. candidates?

  2. If I know the two commandments of Jesus, the Ten Commandments, the seven sacraments, the Five Precepts of the Catholic Church, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed, will I be sufficiently prepared for life as a Catholic?

  3. One of my books says that “the basic elements of the catechumenate are explained in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.” What are those basic elements? Are they the things I listed in question #3? Did I leave anything out?

  4. Why are some people telling me not to get a blessing during communion?

  5. The prayers used during Mass seem to change from one week to the next, and some have more than one optional response listed in the missal. How does everybody know what to say? (No, it is not in the program.)

  6. How do I know if my parish is expecting me to join the church this Easter? Do I have to be enrolled in anything?

  7. When will I know I am ready for confirmation?
    **

Please, please, please, if you think these questions reveal some kind of deep fault in my character, just move on. To those who want to help, I may be slow to respond, so thank you in advance.

First…for Pete’s sake relax…get a cup of tea or something…wow…just…wow.:rotfl:

Now, on to the questions…

1. I hear that there is some special thing that catechumens do during Lent. What is that?

Yep this is where you get treated like the early church where they excuse you guys after the readings and go study them as a group. It’s a devotional time and mainly designed to make you really appreciate the time when you can receive the Eucharist.
**

  1. Is the process different for catechumens vs. candidates?

**Yep, ask your pastor or DRE and they’ll explain it to you better than most of us can. Essentially, catechumens are unbaptized folks and candidates are folks with valid baptisms already.
**

  1. If I know the two commandments of Jesus, the Ten Commandments, the seven sacraments, the Five Precepts of the Catholic Church, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed, will I be sufficiently prepared for life as a Catholic?

I would say so but there’s not gonna be a pop quiz on all that. Those things are mainly giving you a foundation to begin your life as a Catholic. You’ll be off to a good running start.:thumbsup:

  1. One of my books says that “the basic elements of the catechumenate are explained in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.” What are those basic elements? Are they the things I listed in question #3? Did I leave anything out?

That’s what RCIA is. A beginners course for people interested in becoming Catholics. **If you take that Life in Christ book that they gave you in the beginning and look at the table of contents then that’s what you’re asking about.
**

  1. Why are some people telling me not to get a blessing during communion?

**Because they don’t know what they’re talking about. Unless the priest tells you different (and that is extremely unlikely!) then line up to go to him every time.
**

  1. The prayers used during Mass seem to change from one week to the next, and some have more than one optional response listed in the missal. How does everybody know what to say? (No, it is not in the program.)

**Nope and if your missal is like mine (a St. Joseph Sunday) then you keep one ribbon on the readings and I keep the other on the Nicene Creed. We don’t have to follow or pray the Eucharistic prayers and you don’t wanna be flipping pages during that part of the Mass. I just kneel there and focus on what is being said and join the priest’s prayers in my heart. The responses are generally all the same aside from that and should be in your missal under the order of the Mass. You may have look for it, but they are easy to remember once you learn them and I never track them down.:slight_smile:
**

  1. How do I know if my parish is expecting me to join the church this Easter? Do I have to be enrolled in anything?

You’re already enrolled through RCIA. The assumption is that if you show up at the Easter Vigil Mass then you want to join the church. If you decide not to you can stop RCIA at any time or just not show up at that Mass…but if that is the case it is best to take your priest aside before that time and let him know.

  1. When will I know I am ready for confirmation?

**As an adult,it depend on your parish, so you’ll have to ask them (best ask your priest) It’s possible you will also be confirmed that day as well but again…I don’t know enough about you and the program there to advise.

Personally, if you are already baptized into the church and are serious about journeying on and growing in the faith then you are confirmandi material.:thumbsup:

Please, please, please, if you think these questions reveal some kind of deep fault in my character, just move on. To those who want to help, I may be slow to respond, so thank you in advance.

:slight_smile: Like I said…just relax. It’s all good and I’m happy to help. Keep in mind that this is online and you’ll encounter all kinds. Take them with abundant salt.:smiley:

:yup:

I will let others reply for I got to run and many things there are about RCIA which is not my area per se.

But let me note regarding:

catechumens vs. candidates

The first is a person who is not baptized.

The second is one who has been validly baptized. So they would be preparing for Confession and Confirmation and the Eucharist where as the Catechumen will be preparing also for Baptism and would not make a confession until later after they have been Baptized - then then only of sins after baptism.

  1. If I know the two commandments of Jesus, the Ten Commandments, the seven sacraments, the Five Precepts of the Catholic Church, the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed, will I be sufficiently prepared for life as a Catholic?

Well prepared. I would read the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles as well.

  1. Why are some people telling me not to get a blessing during communion?

The blessing in the communion line is an innovation not in the Mass rubrics. If your priest does it, you can go get the blessing if you wish.

  1. The prayers used during Mass seem to change from one week to the next, and some have more than one optional response listed in the missal. How does everybody know what to say? (No, it is not in the program.)

Are you sure about that? Most of the responses are pretty standard. You have probably noticed that most of the older Catholics will have the responses memorized, but don’t feel bad if you don’t.

  1. How do I know if my parish is expecting me to join the church this Easter?

That is a question for your pastor and RCIA director.

  1. When will I know I am ready for confirmation?

Catechumens get Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion at the same time, usually at the Easter Vigil. Candidates (those already baptized) get Confirmation and First Communion.

There is no Comprehensive Exam that you must pass to join the Church. You only need to know the basics. Learning is a lifelong thing. The question is whether you want to join Christ’s Church.

,mn,mnm,nmn

Our DRE seems to be the problem. The rest of your post makes it seem like she should have taught all of this already.

So I really do have to do it all on my own. Super…

Underlining added. This is correct. You appear to already know this, though.

Greetings! Welcome home!

As Church Militant said, relax.

Bookcat is correct. I’ll say it yet in another way: If you are a catchment (unbaptized), the Baptism will totally erase (cleanse your soul of) all your sins and, therefore, there is no need to go to Confession before being Baptized. There are two or three baptisms that are not valid (i.e., accepted for lack right now of a better word coming to me) by the Catholic Church. You appear from previous threads to know about validity of Baptism already.

This is a journey. A life-long, slow, walk (with ups and downs) in Faith with others. You are not alone. I am not alone. Here is one example of “behind the scenes” event: I belong to a group of catechists that has put together (with the guidance of several Priests) the RCIA Retreat in Spanish for several years. That multi-parish retreat does not have scheduled Confessions because that particular First Confession would be “something” for the parish Pastor or the Priest assigned to RCIA at the convert’s parish to “handle” because of different pastoral (or spiritual) needs or requirements of different individuals in formation (RCIA). So . . . it is a very personal journey.

I am not trying to talk down to you or brush you aside. I am, however, very aware through personal experience (don’t jump all over me for this is my truth and does not make me less of a Catholic than the next person:wink:) that the Church could and does things slightly different in different countries and in different arch/dioceses within the same country. “It” is the same Church. For instance, the Rosary! I learned to pray it one way and then got lost when praying it after Mass one day! United States people pray it differently. It is the same Rosary, so I just follow. Neither way is “right” or “wrong” in the case of the Rosary (a private devotion).

As you are aware, people from different countries could be answering your questions here and our answers here might not be exactly the same as the answers you may receive at your home diocese :bigyikes:.

Do you have a live (not internet or virtual) Catholic friend who could walk the Faith with you? It is a walk. You are a very smart and inquisitive person and I am sure “walking” with you would be beneficial for that other person’s faith as well. We learn from each other.

If you are having so many difficulties at your parish RCIA, maybe you could call your arch/diocese catechetical offices, speak with the person in charge of catechesis, and ask questions about other parishes’ RCIA programs? You could (not sure if so everywhere) find that number in the arch/dioces website. I see each parish as a family and each is unique in its own way. You might (this could be done differently at different places – am not much into all the “laws”) “have” to request a transfer from your Pastor to do the RCIA at the other parish, but normally it is granted. It is just that the Pastor feels responsible for you and wants to make sure all is done “correctly” by contacting the other Pastor, etc. One parish might not be “right” for me, and another would be.

I sure hope this helps you even if it is a little bit. It has taken me a while to think and type my response, so I hope am not too late.

**Let Nothing Disturb You

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.

Patience,
Obtains all things,
Whoever has God
Lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.

Santa Teresa de Jesús `
(Santa Teresa de Ávila
España: 1515—1582)
**

Luz María
.

I suggest you make an appointment with your pastor. Yes you do need to talk to someone, IRL.

It ain’t really all that hard my friend. Do you think I’d be on here all the time helping people with their questions if studying and learning about our most holy faith was such a grind?

Sure she’s not doing the best job, but it sounds to me like you’re committed to conversion or you wouldn’t be stressing so much over it, Am I right?

If so then you need to realize that we all are into learning about the faith for the rest of our lives.:shrug: It’s not a grievous burden or anything and it’s actually really enjoyable. you don’t have to bust your backside to try to be a clone of Pope Francis because that is not what we are called to do. We read the Bible (I suggest beginning with the New Testament) and doing what you know is right and avoiding what you know is wrong.

Christianity really is a lot better than just constant study and all that.

Can you tell me why you are so wound up about all this? How old are you by the way?

One thing that I have long believed is that if we see deficiencies in the life of our parish then we need to ask God if that’s where He wants us to get involved.

From what you’ve said so far it sounds like you have invested in some serious study materials and I really applaud you for that.:thumbsup: That means that as you feel the need or just the interest you are well equipped to know the Catholic faith better than most people. To be honest…I have sponsored 2 people in RCIA and in sitting in the classes with them i discovered that most times they cover rudimentary stuff but don’t go very deep and I realize that I would do things a bit differently and go deeper. It’s not that our RCIA is inadequate…by no means. It’s actually great, but they could always cover each topic better than I have seen. I never tell them that because it’s not my place and I do offer whatever I can to help things along or answer any questions.

Anyway, hang in there. You’re gonna do just fine.

Agree with the overall consensus here.

God sees our heart and knows all things. So he knows you are in the right place and doing your best. This is a long journey and you really never stop learning. Seriously, I learn new stuff all the time just reading the magnifcat or watching shows like the journey home or listening to Catholic answers on youtube.

Perhaps if the RCIA team is not up to the standard then God is showing you this because he desires for you to help out in the cause after you are confirmed? I don’t presume to speak for God, but a individual like yourself who is very concerned and diligent, a avid reader, you are a valuable commodity to the body of Christ. Seriously, many Catholics seem to just sit on their hands and go through the motions. Inquisitive soon to be Catholics like you and Markie boy give me optimism for the future.

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