I’m finishing up RCIA and we were asked to write a letter to our Bishop. That was the entirety of the request - I’m really not sure what I’m supposed to write here! Our parish is very confusing about these things, the RCIA process isn’t particularly well put together, especially if you can’t make everything they want you to make it’s very difficult to find out what you missed. Does anyone know what this is supposed to be, or what we’re supposed to write?
You would really have to ask your RCIA team about the purpose of the letter. I haven’t heard of doing this before so I can’t offer an answer about what is usually done.
I’ve never heard of this either.
I was certainly not asked to write one when I went through RCIA.
First congratulations on your journey.
I too will be confirmed Holy Saturday.
I did not write a letter to the Bishop but did write an essay on my chosen Saint.
Any time I had a question that needed an answer before the next class I either emailed the RCIA director or called the Parrish and ask for her. . If she was out I left a message.
Failing that could you contact another RCIA student or your sponsor?
My daughter is being confirmed and she is being asked to write a letter to the Bishop…we are living out west now…but my other children had to do the same thing when we lived on the Gulf Coast (which we miss tremendously)…just simply stating what the Sacrament means to them…how they live their faith…the importance of receiving the Sacraments regularly…the Bishop down south actually picked a couple of the letters and read them aloud during Confirmation…not a bad idea I believe…
This is only a guess since we don’t require RCIA candidates to write letters. With kids before confirmation they have to write the bishop a letter expressing their desire to receive confirmation. My guess is that the letter is along the same lines.
Our parish just uses the rite of sending as formal acknowledgement of the desire to be received into the Church. Since the pastor, parish and sponsors have recommended them to the Bishop there seems to be no purpose in formally requesting reception in writing.
I actually did already. The only thing I got was “Write a letter talking about you. It’s like the one the kids do!” I…guess we’re supposed to already know what we’re doing? I dunno, the woman in charge of all this doesn’t seem to have a clue what she’s doing.
I’d be inclined to write back and say “I don’t know what the kids do so I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.” You might also ask if the letter is optional and skip it if you don’t have to do it. Good luck with figuring out what she wants!
…you could just give your opinion of the RCIA class. What was good and what you think could be improved. :shrug:
So I did find out - it’s supposed to be a “personal history with faith” deal. I don’t know if I can write that. I’ve been staring and staring at it for over a week. I don’t talk about my past - there’s a reason for that. I just want to leave it all behind, not have it dragged up again. I’ve been trying my hardest to separate myself from that church and everything that happened…
I suggest that you don’t share any particulars you don’t feel comfortable sharing about. Summarize in general your faith journey in few sentences. Suggestions:
– Valleys or desert periods of confusion? darkness? conflict?
– What are you grateful about (re: history)?
– What helped you explore Catholicism?
– Where are you now in terms of your journey?
– Where do you want to go?
That’s sort of the whole problem. All of those questions are tied intimately with a history of abuse, a history I try not to talk about. I’ve posted some here, where it isn’t tied to my real name or life. I left my old church through abuse, and through being driven out by people who assumed that good upright women couldn’t be abuse victims. I speak little of it because I don’t want people to know; I don’t want to be associated with my old group or with the abuse itself.
If you don’t want to disclose that you have had to endure abuse, then be more general (“I have endured much pain during my journey of faith, pain I don’t wish to write about, but what I have learned is…”).
God allows good to result from evil, so maybe you can focus on the positives?
I’ve had and still have many trials, huge and little – and I try to ask God what he wants me to learn from the trials. Maybe reflecting on the positive outcomes of your hardships can help you write your letter. I don’t think you’ll be able to do it without much prayer though.
I am praying for your healing.
A few paragraphs should cover everything. You might start with what drew you to the Church. If there’s something specific you want to mention that’s fine. Otherwise something like “I have come to believe that the Catholic Church is the church founded by our Lord and I want to be fully part of it” with another sentence or two.
Paragraph 75 of the Rite tells what RCIA is supposed to accomplish. 1. Catechesis (Catholic teachings); 2. Formation through the Christian community; 3. Formation through liturgical prayer; and 4. Formation through apostolic service. Your second paragraph might mention these things. Something like "I’ve learned a great deal in my RCIA classes about Church teachings and practices (and give an example). I’ve met people in the parish (and give an example of your interactions). I’ve been attending Mass (and give an example of what you appreciate about it). And I’ve had the opportunity to serve with other parishioners (and give an example).
The third paragraph might mention your future plans. Where do you go from here? Perhaps you’re looking forward to receiving Christ in the Eucharist? Perhaps there are groups in the parish you want to join?
I think this would make a reasonable letter and doesn’t disclose much personal information.