More Rcia

As I have posted before, my friend is going through the RCIA process. He called me this evening and was seriously considering dropping out of the program. It seems that todays session was on love. And I guess that this was too much because as he described it there were about an hour of tears, handholding, group affirmations that it’s OK to love, even if you are not loved back, that its love that matters only love. The requisite group hug turned into 7 or 8 tonight, every time someone broke out sobbing about their abused childhood, or divorce. He said they are down to three people now and the staff outnumbered them 2-1. Maybe they felt guilty because only two of them showed up for the last two meetings.

They did not look at the books again and have not since the first meeting. As usual there was nothing about the Catholic Faith, no question and answer period, but they did have the cookies and punch again. He said they skipped the Our Father tonight, which to him was a big bummer because its the only prayer they have ever said.

I don’t know what to tell him, and I really don’t know what to do. I could sponser him, but I am way to conservative for his parish where during Gay Pride Week they hung a rainbow banner and the “Presider” wore a rainbow sash, as did the servers. I don’t really think my views would help the matter and could make things worse.

The guy really wants this but he’s telling me how can the Church expect people to get interested and join, if they are not taught anything except that it’s OK to have feelings? He thought as I did, that he would be taught about the faith and his place in it.

I mean is this what the whole process has degenerated into? :confused:

that is not a description of the RCIA process, sounds like those in charge in that parish have decided to use this as a vehicle to push their own agend. The entire parish does not sound like a healthy place for him to be. Please assist him in finding another parish for his RCIA journey. In the mean time, contact Liguori for the Catholic Home Study Program.

I agree with Puzzleannie. You mentioned your Parish. Is it too far away? If he can’t go to yours then help him find another Parish that centers on Christ and teaches the truth of our Catholic faith. I am sorry your friend is going through this awful experience, not surprising, given the type of Parish you have described. Encourage him to not give up and do your best to help him find another Parish.

I think your friend may be looking for problems. The first ten weeks of RCIA are intended to be very basic and light. This is where the catechumens are deciding if they wish to make a commitment to continue on their journey at the Rite of Acceptance. While every program is different, I would give the parish the benefit of the doubt (charity, remember?) as we are very early in the RCIA cycle.

Also, for those poster who will sit back and throw stones: If you don’t like the program at your parish, step up and get involved. This is my first year as RCIA director and have switched from a “group hug” type text to one that focuses on the CCC (This is Our Faith). The first night of class I distributed both books to all. I hoped our program would have more substance, and I was given the job. Big responsibility, but I’m doing my best.

That said, I am still easing the group into the class. It is a very big and emotional decision to leave a faith and come to the Catholic church. The catechumens must be comfortable with each other as a group before they can help each other along their journey (breaking open the word, attending mass together, adoration, general support). If you have never been involved in the RCIA process (I am a cradle Catholic, but this is my 3rd year involved, and first as director) you cannot imagine the pressure your "students’ may be under. Friends and family who do not agree with their decision can be very difficult to deal with.

[quote=Lurch104]I think your friend may be looking for problems. The first ten weeks of RCIA are intended to be very basic and light. This is where the catechumens are deciding if they wish to make a commitment to continue on their journey at the Rite of Acceptance. While every program is different, I would give the parish the benefit of the doubt (charity, remember?) as we are very early in the RCIA cycle.

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It’s good to remind the thread of charity, however, what the OP is describing sounds like a trainwreck. Time for him to shake the dust from his feet & move on…in a charitable way, of course! :slight_smile: Every program is different. The one I used to be involved in was only 10-12 weeks total!

[quote=StephanieC]It’s good to remind the thread of charity, however, what the OP is describing sounds like a trainwreck. Time for him to shake the dust from his feet & move on…in a charitable way, of course! :slight_smile: Every program is different. The one I used to be involved in was only 10-12 weeks total!
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Wow 10-12 weeks! My program goes for 9 full months. I have parishoners who ask to attend because they see how much their knowledge of the faith is deepened in the program. I must say (unfortunately) that the people who graduate from our program are better informed than many cradle Catholics I know.

When I first came to these forums, I came because I was so distraught with how the pre-cat phase was so… nonsensical. One teacher was what most people would label “conservative” and the other was what people would label “liberal” in how they taught about the Church. I was told to stick it out and frankly - I wanted to stick it out. I really feel that going through the more loose sided instruction and… what at the time seemed almost an abuse of the leadership bestowed on one teacher in particular in regards to what the Church believes and teaches and the teachers own personal beliefs… helped me gain insight into a progressive trend that I will have to deal with at some point and time.

I’m happy to say that while there are some things that still sort of irk me, I’ve gotten to the catechumen phase just fine, and we have three cycling teachers with varied ways of teaching (and those who enjoy the feelgood hug stuff one teacher who’s really into the “support group” thing, and for those of us who like things given to us “how it is” without hugs have another teacher we enjoy (who irks the feelgood people) and then there’s an overall director who is a mix of the two extremes.

The lovely thing is that since we’ve moved to the Sunday class timeframe, the deacon and the visiting priests have the ability to come and monitor the classes and give their wonderful insight and direction which is something I had literally hungered for.

I cannot say your friend may meet with a similar event, but tell him to go to a few more sessions, and if still not feeling good about it, maybe he can give a test run to some other churches in the area that you can reccommend. Eventually, I believe everyone finds what they are looking for, and I certainly hope he finds an RCIA group that invigorates his belief and his need for the Word of God. :slight_smile:

[quote=Lurch104]I think your friend may be looking for problems. The first ten weeks of RCIA are intended to be very basic and light. This is where the catechumens are deciding if they wish to make a commitment to continue on their journey at the Rite of Acceptance. While every program is different, I would give the parish the benefit of the doubt (charity, remember?) as we are very early in the RCIA cycle.

Also, for those poster who will sit back and throw stones: If you don’t like the program at your parish, step up and get involved. This is my first year as RCIA director and have switched from a “group hug” type text to one that focuses on the CCC (This is Our Faith). The first night of class I distributed both books to all. I hoped our program would have more substance, and I was given the job. Big responsibility, but I’m doing my best.

That said, I am still easing the group into the class. It is a very big and emotional decision to leave a faith and come to the Catholic church. The catechumens must be comfortable with each other as a group before they can help each other along their journey (breaking open the word, attending mass together, adoration, general support). If you have never been involved in the RCIA process (I am a cradle Catholic, but this is my 3rd year involved, and first as director) you cannot imagine the pressure your "students’ may be under. Friends and family who do not agree with their decision can be very difficult to deal with.
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I post these things because my friend and co worker sincerely wants to become Catholic, and I, as a thinking persom can see no real benefit to what they are doing now. I understand that the first few weeks may be light, but give me a break. More than that if you saw this guy and talked to him you wouldn’t be slinging around terms like looking for problems. He came to the Church because he honestly feels it is the one true church, and all he gets is some kind of group therapy 13 stepper non sense. Maybe you guys who run these programs should have a better handle on what happens. Maybe it should be a more centralized effort, I don’t know, but something needs to change if this sort of stuff is in any way the usual practice. Oh and he was issued books on the first day, I’ve already written about them.

[quote=palmas85]I post these things because my friend and co worker sincerely wants to become Catholic, and I, as a thinking persom can see no real benefit to what they are doing now. I understand that the first few weeks may be light, but give me a break. More than that if you saw this guy and talked to him you wouldn’t be slinging around terms like looking for problems. He came to the Church because he honestly feels it is the one true church, and all he gets is some kind of group therapy 13 stepper non sense. Maybe you guys who run these programs should have a better handle on what happens. Maybe it should be a more centralized effort, I don’t know, but something needs to change if this sort of stuff is in any way the usual practice. Oh and he was issued books on the first day, I’ve already written about them.
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A friend of mine, who has hit the wall in my old parish, got a call from the DRE there. The DRE stated that an old co-worker of my friend wanted her to sponsor him through RCIA.
My friend got the man’s phone number and told him that she would sponsor him if he came to my new (very orthodox) church.

They are starting next week.

When I started in the pre-cat phase, I hit the ground running. I wanted answers and brought a sheet each week with my questions (so I wouldn’t forget any) and could write the answers. During the following week, I looked up related material to the answers I was given.Your friend does NOT have to settle for the milquetoast (or punch & cookies) he is being fed. He needs to get out of there now!
I’m sure if he wanted a 12 step program, he could find one anywhere. R.C.I.A. is not a 12 step program and someone (maybe you?) needs to call the Diocesan office about “rainbow” land.
I would take my friend under my wing and sponsor him in my own orthodox parish.

[quote=catsrus]When I started in the pre-cat phase, I hit the ground running. I wanted answers and brought a sheet each week with my questions (so I wouldn’t forget any) and could write the answers. During the following week, I looked up related material to the answers I was given.Your friend does NOT have to settle for the milquetoast (or punch & cookies) he is being fed. He needs to get out of there now!
I’m sure if he wanted a 12 step program, he could find one anywhere. R.C.I.A. is not a 12 step program and someone (maybe you?) needs to call the Diocesan office about “rainbow” land.
I would take my friend under my wing and sponsor him in my own orthodox parish.
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I actually did speak to the Diocesan Office. They said there was no set curriculum for RCIA, just a general set of guidelines and certain points that had to be taught. How the course is taught is basically left up to each individual parish.

I would have to assume that the Diocese would not really be happy with people in essence “shopping” around for an RCIA program. In San Diego the church that I go to for Sunday Mass is at the Holy Cross Cemetary Chapel for the indult. They do not and I don’t think they are allowed to have an RCIA program there by order of the Bishop. My Parish’s RCIA program is really not a lot better then the one my friend is in. It is probably the last bastion of the liberal thinkers in the Parish which is fairly conservative by Southern California standards.

Thanks for the advice though. I really do appreciate the feedback.

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