Several years ago when we lived in another state, I took RCIA classes for several weeks. It’s always been a “calling” for me to join the Catholic Church and I was looking forward to finally completing the long journey I’ve had to get there. However, I had serious doubts about joining after our instructor kept continually bashing the Protestant faith and even making the statement that they are all going to hell.
It particularly upset me because I was going to be a convert FROM the Protestant faith. He was making comments about them that was inappropriate and not true but most of the people that were in my class laughed and made jokes about his comments. Needless to say, I quit going and quit going to the Catholic church for a long time. However, the calling has never gone away and I’m now considering joining an RCIA class again but I’m afraid I’ll come across the same attitude.
I realize that Protestants don’t understand a LOT of what the Catholic church teaches and they have so many misunderstandings about the way Catholic’s worship but that’s no reason for an instructor to condemn them.
Would you pray that I would have an instructor this time that will be a servant of God?
Don’t let one instructor from one RCIA class and their ungracious remarks keep you from coming into God’s Church! This is unusual for RCIA and if this person is still there, maybe you can talk to them and let them know your concerns. If not, find another RCIA class somewhere else!
Whenever I read stories such as yours, retiredtxn, in which some person in the Church did or said something wrong/inappropriate that drove someone away, I feel disgusted and angry. The kind of remarks the RCIA director made were totally unacceptable and rude. Where was his charity and where was truth? Protestants are our brothers in Christ. There is no way they are going to hell for being what they were brought up to be. The Church teaches that even non-Christians may be saved through God’s grace working in their lives. I’m so sorry you had to hear a load of nasty, nonsensical twaddle from anyone associated with the Church.
Do go to RCIA again. Since you are now at another parish I would bet that you will not run into that kind of behavior again. If, by some chance you do, as CalCatholic wisely advised, you should talk to the RCIA director about it. And if s/he won’t listen to you take your concerns to the pastor.
I hope you have a much more pleasant RCIA experience this time around. Welcome home to the Church. God bless you and yours!
If this person said such things, then you are very proper in not listening to them. What you might very well benefit from is a copy of Catholicism for Dummies. It is an excellent and easily read resource on what the Catholic Church actually believes and teaches - and the reasons why.
Don’t be discouraged. There are good RCIA instructors, average ones, and those that don’t do well at all (hopefully rare, and will mature out of their errors, as hopefully we all do).
I had a bad situation arise when I attended my first RCIA, but instead of walking away from the Church, I looked for another class in my diocese. I felt that I had put it off for too long in my life, three or four decades too long. I was very upset about the way my first real attempt at RCIA turned out. So I thought that I was going to have to wait for at least another year.
And to my surprise I found another class within the diocese when we visited a parish closer to where we lived. That became our home parish as well. I asked about why there was a difference between the two, but the priest said that wasn’t important. He said that what was important was me going through RCIA because it was what I wanted, and what God wanted for me.
They had a different schedule than the main program at the diocese, so I saw many of my former classmates during the Rites where the Bishop presided. And entered into full communion on the same date as the class that I left.
Now is the time, if you feel called as you say you do. Now. Don’t put it off.
Don’t let someone else’s problems stand as a locked gate that you cannot pass.
The gate is unlocked. Open, and enter. God will bless you for it in ways that you cannot yet imagine.
Since the Church has never declared anyone to be in hell, one then wonders just where this RCIA instructor got that idea. That is serious enough that it could/should be reported to the parish Priest where it occurred.
Please don’t let that bad experience stop you from RCIA. I have never been around any Catholics who talked that way and I wish you had done something about it back then. That type of behavior is completely out of line and I dare say sinful. I was an RCIA sponsor a few years back and I assure you nothing like that was said in our classes and if it had happened I would have stopped it then and there as it was completely wrong.
The more my teacher says, “we can’t lose you to those Protestants” and other derisive comments like this, the more I want to switch parishes. The other is too far, however. This is never called for. And every time he said this, I replied, “Please be careful; please teach me what it is to be Catholic, not what it isn’t.”
Bear it with patience, if you can. Even one of the Apostles was false, and many in the Church may mean well (or not), but they are only human and have only an understanding of what has been given them to understand. Only human.
I would urge you to persist, and enter into full communion with the Church. Don’t get discouraged.
Before I became Catholic, I would chase after the “right teacher” going from church to church like a bee flying flower to flower. I knew when I heard “Truth” (or at least what I thought was “Truth”), and some would say it for a time, but they soon would let me down.
Then I left church altogether for a long time. Too long. Big mistake. :shrug:
What I didn’t understand then, that I do now, is that I go to Mass to worship God, not what someone says. I had the very worship of God upside-down in my beliefs. So don’t let that happen in your RCIA.
People make mistakes, but the Magisterium does not. Study the CCC, go through the Rites as they are beautiful and uplifting, and be received into the Church.
Oh I shall press on to the best of my abilities, but perhaps with another parish. This one is in admitted shambles. I would not be surprised if it is the next one to close.
Thank you for your support!!
I live 1500 miles away from that parish so it would be impossible for me to confront this person even if they’re still there. I was so disheartened at the time that the only thing I could think of to not be exposed to any more of this tripe was to quit going. I feel sad for the other people that were “fed” this poison. I pray that it didn’t give them a warped view of who Protestant’s are.
I’m also sad that it kept me away from the Church for 9 years. It left such a sour taste in my mouth that I didn’t feel I ever wanted to go back but God is patient with us and He’s had His hand on my shoulder, guiding me in the direction He wants me to go. Let me tell you…when we moved to this town 5 years ago, I wanted to find a church so badly. I NEEDED to find a place to worship. I felt as dry as dust and my soul was aching to be in the presence of the Lord.
Since I was raised in a Methodist church, I thought I’d go back to my “roots” so I visited all the Methodist churches here hoping that I’d “get that feeling” (you know what it is;)). I felt nothing. Although the sermons were Biblically correct and people were friendly (why aren’t people more friendly in the Catholic church???) , I always left with an empty feeling. Then I visited Baptist churches. Then I visited Non-denominational churches. Then I visited a Lutheran church (my dad was raised Lutheran). Then I visited a Reformed church (I actually went there for 6 months). Nothing happened. I was so discouraged that I was about to give up on finding “that feeling”. THEN, I started hearing that small, quiet voice of the Holy Spirit whispering in my ear to visit one of the Catholic churches.
We have 3 Catholic churches here and they could be described as “small, medium, and large” in size of congregation. I felt lead to visit St. Brigid’s, which is the smallest of the three. It was originally established by the Irish immigrants coming here to PA in the 1800’s. Most Catholic churches I’ve gone to have been very ornate inside and I always loved the beauty of these churches. St. Brigid’s is just the opposite. It’s very simple and plain (except for the gorgeous stained-glass windows) and only a small statue of Mary and Joseph. What I found so fascinating about this church was my “feelings” were back during the Mass and especially during the Eucharist. I almost wept with joy!!!
I know God has been calling me to the Church for a very long time. My heart sings when I’m there and I can’t seem to stop myself from smiling when I’m there and in His presence.
What I’m getting at is, I’m 66 years old and I had an experience with The Blessed Mother at age 20 that I’ve never forgotten. I knew then that I was being called, but circumstances in my life then and throughout the years since have prevented me from answering that call. I don’t want to miss this opportunity…again. God’s not going to let me live forever to step out in faith, so to speak, and come to worship Him the way He wants me to so I need to make that commitment NOW. I WANT to make that commitment now. I pray that God will open the door for me to step through in faith and attend another RCIA class.
Here in “team sports” America, we may tend to view faith as a competitive sport, i.e. us vs. them. This completely loses sight of the fact that we are not in competition with anything except error. Faith is a lifelong search for God’s revealed truth in its fullness.
Through her example and especially through her intercessions in prayers to her Son, our Blessed Mother leads many of us to Him!
Ask for her prayers every day! You’ll find your relationship with Jesus will strengthen ever more. And like her, you will become ever more fervent in giving glory to God in all that you do.
I hope you have contacted the pastor or RCIA leader in your new parish already. Prayer will help you to cast aside your fears about the RCIA team. Pray for them, appreciate all the good that you witness, and forgive them for mistakes and errors. Remember they are volunteers and who are growing in their own faith and in their ministry. No matter how imperfect the leaders might be, keep your sights on our Lord. Hopefully, they’ll be great leaders and witnesses to the faith.
Always appreciate the various faith traditions which have enriched your life. The churches in which you have worshipped are part of the Body of Christ, just not in full communion with the Church our Lord founded. You’ve taken the scenic route. May you have much joy as you prepare to be received in full communion and to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament!
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears! Turn then most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
(V.) Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, (R.) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
I’m really sorry about that instructor you had. It sounds like he or she really stunk at RCIA leading.
On behalf of those of us that LOVE our Protestant brothers and sisters, Welcome to the Catholic Church! Take a look around, ask questions, join a group or two, and if you find another stinky RCIA instructor let someone know and we will lovingly inform them to shape up or stop leading RCIA. That kind of behavior doesn’t fly here because we do believe in giving a warm welcome.
If your parish has a Knights of Columbus, attend some of their breakfasts! It’s a great casual way to meet people and if you’re hungry have no fear because those men can cook! (They also do lots of other great things for the parish). I have been known to tease my husband about KOC ceremonies. Like any fraternity, they can be kind of secretive with the ceremonial stuff and I my husband that must be where the older Knights pass on the pancake breakfast and fish fry secrets to the younger ones like my husband and his friends! He just laughed and said he couldn’t tell.
I just came from the church in question. I’ve had enough. I am still part of the program and as such, and out of respect, I shall continue to go to mass until they have been told formally ‘enough.’ How ironic from today’s Gospel reading; so much seems so inherently wrong here, from the mishandling of RCIA to the mishandling of the parishoners and even the Eucharistic gifts. Love is the the key and it is not expressed here. It’s as if they are just going through the motions.
May God grant me the right words to bow out graciously.