RCIA Discernment

I have two sponsers, my best friend who ended up becoming my boyfriend, and one that they RCIA people requested for me. One of our class teachers and I worked together, and she lied to me (from what I found out and she even admited) so she could take over my job. I have heard her bad mouthing me and saying these really truely hurtful things about me, and now she is going to be in the room with the head RCIA director to decide if I am ready to procede or not. Is there anything I can do about this due to our past conflict?

I would, without being overly emotional, explain what happened with the woman. Give the RCIA director the truth with just enough detail to explain your position. Then turn it over to God. I hope everything works out for the best.

You might request a private meeting with the RCIA director and explain what happened with as little emotion as possible. That way the director understands what happened before the public meeting. If you feel you are truly ready and this person becomes an obstacle, I would even suggest involving the priest, if you must.

Huh? Someone is to decide if you are ready to enter the Church? I don’t think I understand this procedure you are going through…

Could you explain it a little more? Seems like a conversation with the director is at hand.

is this person still treating you this way? Or has everything been reconciled?

Anyway…no one interviewed me or had to determine if I could enter the Church, as long as I followed the Sacrement procedure and went to class, etc, I could enter. Just saying that this seems odd…I mean, at my first confession the priest asked if I was entering the church by my own free will…but that was it…

While there was no interview when I went through RCIA, the director could determine if she felt someone was ready. There were a few people that rarely showed up and still wanted to join. She made sure they received more instruction before entering the Church. She and the priest didn’t deny the sacraments, but they were delayed for just reason.

Where is your pastor in all of this? You should voice your concerns to him directly. The ultimate responsibility lies with him, even though he may not be running the program.

She is doing this with everyone in the RCIA. I talked to the Priest about things that was going on in confession, because in all honesty I felt it was against my Catholic/Christian teaching. Father knows that I grew up in a Catholic school and a Catholic family. My mother was Jewish, and she wanted me to follow her religion, but it was just not the religion for me. He had a talk with the RCIA director, and she wasnt as nice and talkitive with me anymore, and she even told a few people in class about what I was talking the Father about, which made me feel embarassed to see the fingers pointing towards me. Our parish Priest told me to invite all my family for the Easter/Holy Saturday mass since they are so proud of me so they can be there to witness it; but the RCIA director wants the whole class to go through at Pentecost (which I have never heard of.) It has just been becoming so bad, I went to confession because I was questioning my faith, and that scared me. I just do not know what to do anymore, just pray. God knows my heart, and he knows I will follow him on every path he takes me.And I just need to continue to have faith that he knows when it is my time, and if and when it is, He will place it in their hearts and minds. I am just praying for the best, and after some prayer I know in my heart that He is in my life, and that everything will be okay.

So you just now talked to the pastor? Within the past hour?

Why are these women determining your entry into the church? Why do you really have to even talk to them? Do you go to class? If so, then go…ignore them…and I wouldn’t talk to them.

She still needs a sponsor, though - and there is not very long before the sponsors present the Catechumens to the Bishop to affirm that they are ready to become Catholic - I think it’s in two weeks, or is it actually next weekend? For sure it’s at the start of Lent, but I can’t remember if it’s the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, or the Sunday after. But anyway, the Rite of Election is coming up very soon, and the sponsor has to be ready to answer the Bishop’s questions with a firm “yes” or “no” - not “I don’t really know, I never met this person before.”

So, it’s important that she have someone who knows her journey, and who can attest that she has been doing everything necessary to prepare herself for the lifestyle of a Catholic. It can’t just be a random stranger (and nor should it be someone who doesn’t like her) so the clock is ticking down very rapidly, here.

I have a sponser. It is just the lady that is over the RCIA and Adult Religious Education has my sponser and I meeting with her and a Catachist that teaches her class (The Catachist being the one whom I have had problems with at work.) And I talked to my Priest about other matters a few weeks ago, and now things are just getting worse after he spoke to the director.

One is the head of the RCIA/Adult Ed at church and a girl that helps teach the RCIA class has to talk with my sponser and I to see if my “heart is in the right place” to become Catholic. I understand their rules and what they are doing, but I do not like it that my sponser-sponser was asked not to come, but the sponser they appointented me (whom I love) to decide if I am ready to or not. They said they wanted everyone in RCIA to wait till Penetcost instead of Holy Saturday/Easter.

Is this the boyfriend? If he becomes your god father, you will not be allowed to marry him; you know that, right? That’s probably why they selected a different sponsor (god parent) for you.

but the sponser they appointented me (whom I love) to decide if I am ready to or not. They said they wanted everyone in RCIA to wait till Penetcost instead of Holy Saturday/Easter.

This is often done with candidates who were previously baptized, to differentiate them from those coming in by baptism at the Easter Vigil, but it is recommended strongly that those being baptized receive their baptism and other Sacraments at the Easter Vigil.

In other words, it’s just as bad to have everyone coming in at Pentecost without differentiating, as it is to have everyone come in at Easter Vigil, without differentiating.

We know that, it is just that he has been here through my spiritual journey and is not welcome at my discernment even though they say he is my “co-sponser” my other sponser and I cannot figure out why he is not welcome when others can bring in their co-sponsers

That was true according to the 1917 version of canon law. It is not true according to the current version. Nonetheless, there are good reasons to discourage a spouse, finance, or boy/girlfriend from being a sponsor.

this all sounds so fishy. Have you been baptized? If not then you are to be baptized at the Easter Vigil according to the Rite. Your boyfriend can be your sponsor. It is no longer law that he could not marry you if that should happen. While it is true that your initiation could be delayed, it would have to be for a very good reason AND the pastor has to decide that, not the RCIA director.

I am the RCIA director in my parish and I have had to ask people to delay their initiation mainly due to marriage problems, but the pastor was in on all the decisions. One man stopped coming to classes so we told him he could not be baptized. He stopped coming, although his wife continued to come and was baptized as were their children. Since he is a catechumen he was told he could resume the process at any time once he was ready to commit.

I was baptized a few years ago

Okay - in this case then, it would actually be more appropriate for your initiation to take place at Pentecost, according to the Rite.

And yes, the boyfriend can be a co-sponsor, but he just can’t be the main sponsor. But as an interested party, and someone who is going to be part of your spiritual life for some time to come, it seems kind of odd that he is being excluded from your discernment process - when I was doing RCIA I used to always allow family members to be part of the process, but just not to be sponsors.

I attened every class and requirement except 2-3 when I was in the hospital and had surgery (I was not allowed to stand or walk and the meds I was on just made me sleep all day) which they knew about. All I know is there is a guy at our Parish that has been in RCIA for over 2 years now because they don’t see the “fire in him” and he is a very nice Christian man. I guess I am just worried, but I never thought that I would have a person that has caused so many problems for me at work be included on deciding if I am ready and questioning me about my faith and if I can go through the final right during Easter instead of Pentecost like they are wanting everyone to wait for. At my family’s Parish, they always done that on Easter… I guess every Parish is different. My boyfriend, co-sponser) said he is going to go in with me no matter what. That one girl was realy rude to me before and I am the type that will sit there and cry and let people put me down, so just incase he wants to be there to pull me out of the office incase something like that happens again. I know it is wrong, but the thought actually crossed my mind to break up with him just so I would not be questioned about him and feeling like I am being held back because of him… I just couldn’t break his heart for my own gain, but then I feel guilty because I know that is not the Love God teaches.

This all seems very strange to me. A man in RCIA for 2 years because someone decided they don’t see the “fire” in him? Are they looking for tongues of fire to descend on him or what? And you have to be interviewed by someone not the Director and who questions your faith after you’ve been attending all these sessions? Something does not sound right here.

You should not be having these problems. You need to talk to your Pastor again. If he says you can be received into the Church, that should be it. He is the boss. If you can’t resolve this, find another parish. I’m serious.

I think I am going to find another Parish and start RCIA again. My family (the Catholic side and non-Catholic side) agree that what I am being told and sent in e-mails is very unChristian and that it might be a better idea to changes Parishes. It is geting to the point where there are arguments with my family, boyfriend, and friends about what is going on at our Parish. I was just hoping and praying that I would finally be able to become Catholic after almost 20 years of not being able to; but even if it takes my whole entire life, I am never going to give up on it. I will never let anyone or anything make me lose my faith and I will take things day by day and when it is His time for me I will be te happiest person on Earth. He (God) is worth the struggle.

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