RCIA Comeback Question


I hope that this is in the right forum. If not, perhaps it could be moved to the correct place.

Brief summary of the situation: I was in RCIA last year, and I dropped out pretty late. I am starting to think that I should have stuck it out. Several factors contributed to my leaving, but it basically came down to weird liberal practices and teaching. They tried to make us do these odd breathing techniques and sounds (felt like Eastern meditation), they insisted that the Holy Spirit was to be called “she,” they presented the Church as more of “a way” than “The Way,” and so forth. In discouragement, I dropped out late and went back to my Episcopal parish.

What a disaster that turned out to be. Anybody who knows the Episcopal Church knows that it’s not exactly a bastion of orthodoxy. :rolleyes: I know it’s not where I need to be. But dropping out so late made my director, sponsor, and priest pretty upset. I did it because what they offered wasn’t right…but now I feel like I should have just stuck it out for a few more weeks so that I could be Confirmed into the Church.

So, my question is this: is there any kind of penalty for having withdrawn, or could I just begin at a new parish next fall? I’m kind of nervous about trying again, but deep down I feel like I have to go where God leads me :confused:

Thanks so much


No, there isn’t any sort of penalty for not becoming Catholic. One should not do so unless and until one is certain.

I would suggest that you go to another parish and make an appointment to talk to the priest (not the RCIA coordinator, and don’t let yourself get any run around from the parish secretary). Explain to the priest your situation, why you decided not to go forward, and that you would like to be received into the Church. If you are baptized already, you should not have to “repeat” RCIA. The priest can confirm you at any time. He might choose to have you go back through RCIA, but it is not necessary for a catechized candidate to do so.


If that happened to me I would have quit too - although probably earlier and way less graciously than you did. :o

I agree with 1ke, go to another parish, talk to the priest and explain what happened and discuss with him on where to go from here.


If you can, I strongly advise you to go to another parish to complete your conversion, whatever that might entail.


When I was in RCIA I had to attend a Life In The Spirit gathering where they made us do these (in my opinion) stupid gibberish sounds. They were trying to get us to speak in tongues. They even said the only way to communicate with the Holy Spirit was in tongues and that exorcisms could only be done in tongues. Frankly that sounded like nonsense to me and I walked out. I went to see the priest in charge of our RCIA group and he confirmed what they told us was nonsense so I continued the RCIA program and just ignored that episode.


Thanks so much for all of the replies. This has been a confusing time, and I really appreciate the suggestions. I will definitely try to talk to a priest at another parish…hopefully they’ll be gracious, but if they require me to go through the program again, I’ll go along with it. The Catholic Church is where I need to be.


There are a great number of parishes with the liberal pastoral associate that runs RCIA. This has been the case for a few decades now. How do you find a good parish? I would start with the basics. Find a parish where the Sacrament of Penance is practiced and advertised with regular times each week. Parishes that have weekly adoration are also to be considered. Any parish that does a family rosary once or more times per week is also good.

You can do a screen of the parishes in your area by entering your zip code at the top of this site - www.masstimes.org. This will bring up the parishes in your area and you can see what they practice, and do not practice. In the end, you have to talk to the priest and hear a few homilies. If the priest is of the liberal bent, then the parish will suffer as well.

The point though is this. In order to receive the authentic faith, you must be interacting with a parish and other catholics that have the real faith. Saint Paul emphasized this and warned to be careful who you choose to be close to. See those that strengthen your faith.

Finally, I remained in a liberal parish trying to promote change for 25 years. It was a BIG mistake. I am at a better parish now. I get support to perservere by attending activities hosted by Miles Christi. You can find them at www.mileschristi.org.

God bless you!


Let me tell you, as the Director of Catechetical Ministry at a local parish here in So. Cal,the RCIA process you experienced seems like NONSENSE! The Holy Spirit to be called…she? Who ran the process? And quite frankly, I am so suprised the pastor even allowed it? RCIA is to be conducted in accordance with the RCIA phases and the lliturgical calendar. No! You did the right thing and what you should have done is gone to another parish. Quick question? Before you enrolled,did anyone take the time to meet with you and explain the process?

I always meet with the person and explain RCIA…and the correct methods.


There is no penalty. Try another parish this time and just stick with it.

I’m a convert and went through RCIA too. Sometimes the people they have teaching the class are not very well educated and they do a lousy job of it. Here’s the thing though: Once you’re in, you’re in. You can always do what I did, just get through it, and consider it sort of an initiation.

Once you become Catholic, you’ll have a lot to learn, so start reading for yourself and start listening and talking to some other Catholics of all different kinds, and between those two things you’ll learn more than you’re ever going to learn in RCIA.


I had a similar experience in my RCIA class. Very poor catechesis with an extremely liberal instructor and sponsors.

That said, you gotta stick with it. There’s nothing that’s more important in your life right now then becoming baptized and fully confirmed in the church. In the meantime, CAF is a great place where you can start to catechize yourself [edited]. Once you have the basics figured out, you can even use the vague, luke-warm nature of your RCIA classes to steer the conversation topics more toward issues of objective morality and maybe (at least) expose some of the other students to bits and pieces of the Truth.


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