RCIA sponsor questions


#1

My husband and I were asked to be sponsors for a couple’s RCIA/confirmation. We keep thinking we should do something for them other than show up, like a gift or something. I am thinking after the Easter Vigil a gift would be appropriate. But then I started wondering if we should do something for the other parts as well? The Rite of Acceptance is this week so I don’t have time to order anything but I still am thinking the gift should be held off until it’s all “official”. :slight_smile:

Then my next question is what to get…besides rosaries or books?


#2

The Rite of Acceptance IS official. It is a part of the Rite of Christian Initiation. And it is significant: the inquirer moves from being someone outside the Church to someone inside the Church. With the Rite of Acceptance the inquirer becomes a catechumen and eligible for (among other things) Catholic marriage and Catholic burial.

However, I don’t think the emphasis should be on gifts. The role of the sponsor is much, much bigger than that. You are the mentor, the guide, the one who can show the catechumen what it means to be a Catholic Christian. Some of the things I like to see sponsors do:

  • pray for your catechumen every day.

  • meet with your catechumen after Mass over coffee and donuts. Make her feel welcome and included. Introduce her to other parishioners.

  • invite your catechumen to whatever groups you belong to or meetings you attend. Help her to become a part of the parish by introducing her to parish activities, whether it’s a prayer group, altar society, social justice group, etc

  • invite your catechumen to a lecture, day of reflection, choral performance, or other activity in the parish. It can be hard to go to that first activity and be much easier to go with someone you know.

  • just in general, talk with your catechumen, support her, be her spiritual friend.


#3

Well stated. The spiritual support is what they most need and most appreciate.
God bless you for agreeing to be a sponsor. :slight_smile:


#4

We have educational sessions that catechumens attend. These include fellowship. Some of the sponsors get to know their people very well and go out to dinner etc…

In the past we have always had gifts for the neophytes after the Easter Vigil. I bought the woman I was mentoring (different that sponsoring) a bottle of her favorite wine. Another year I bought a devotional.

The neophytes almost always get together and buy some gifts for the RCIA team as well.


#5

In our Diocese, and I think in most, the Rite of Acceptance is a beautiful and very moving ceremony–your presence at the ceremony and following reception will be plenty of support. I got a bit teary at mine, and also at several others more recently. I’m unaware of any significant gift-giving at the time of this Rite, in part perhaps because for many people there still is some uncertainty, and there may be family or friends in opposition.
At Confirmation, I love books, rosaries, pictures. Would you have concern about CDs or DVDs? I like them too. Many people have a small area in the home, usually around the Bible, for devotional objects that can be blessed and dedicated to the Trinity. Perhaps you might consider a more personal gift, like a visit to a local Catholic site–monastery, college, retreat center, basilica, that they might hesitate for a while to visit alone. Almost all gifts we’re aware of have been quite small in value.
Congratulations and blessings for your support. Sometimes discussions at RCIA generate interest in concepts or people that were previously not on the horizon, especially lives or activities of Saints or particular Church Groups or historic issues that make good gift topics.


#6

Right now I’m on the receiving end of things since I’m in RCIA. We just had our Rite of Acceptance last Sunday that my sponsor attended with me. It was a wonderful part of the Mass that day.

As far as gifts, just having your sponsor there is enough. My sponsor will be spending a lot of time being there for me in the upcoming Rites. I plan to get *them *a gift for Easter Vigil!


#7

DITTOs! :thumbsup:

“The Day” is the culmination of the RCIA experience. Walk the journey with them, and continue your support in the years to come, because the journey is never finished until we rest in Christ, and it’s a much better trip when made with others we love!


#8

I was my husband’s sponsor when he went through RCIA two years ago. I did opt to get him something small for all of the milestones along the way. He’s a big reader and a pop-culture junkie, so I got him “Happy Catholic” by Julie Davis for his Rite of Acceptance, and “The Gospel According to Tolkien” for the Rite of Election. He loved them and they really helped his spiritual growth. For the Easter Vigil, I bought him a rosary and a medal of St. Joseph, his chosen patron saint.

As others have said, your support and prayers are enough all on their own! But if you feel moved to also get a small gift, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it and I’m sure the gesture will be appreciated. God bless you for being a sponsor and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide your catechumen’s journey!


#9

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