RCIA thoughts


Last week I started RCIA. I had been looking forward to it for a year (I missed out last year) and we had our second meeting yesterday and I am so filled with anxiety.
We are in the Inquiry period. The first meeting we talked about our faith walk so far, all that was well and good I could speak up about it. My problem is the hand-outs that our leader gives for us to complete and then we go into groups to discuss them. As soon as I get these handouts I freeze and my mind goes blank. I feel stupid and afraid that once the Inquiry period is over they will not think I am ready for the Welcome step. The thing is, I do know quite a bit about the Catholic Church and its teachings, and scripture because I do a lot of reading. But these handouts are driving me nuts because I feel so indequate. I have prayed and prayed about it.
My husband is going with me (although he is a cradle Catholic) because he has been away from the Chuch for so long. He is trying to support me and knows me better than I know myself.
Has anyone else had this problem? I guess I am writing just to vent and look for any help, prayers, etc. etc. Thanks!:frowning:


Welcome! I went through RCIA a few years ago myself. I think you are getting over-worried about the whole “ordeal”. This is a process over many months to allow you to have time, reflect on your decision, to have time to be presented what the Church teaches, and begin to live out your new Catholic faith. There’s not going to be a test that you have to pass. The Church just wants to make sure that you have an appropriate amount of time so that your decision to become Catholic is not a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Welcome, and relax. Enjoy the process. Learn as much as you can. And if your mind goes blank, then just say so, and ask questions. No worries.

BTW, what is on the handouts? I’m guessing the point of them is to get a sense of the group as a whole, and their collective knowledge of the Christian faith. The leader doesn’t want to over-do the basics, if the group doesn’t need it. They can tailor the teaching better to the people in RCIA. Just do what you can, and relax. If you mind goes blank, just state so. Even write on the handout that you know the answer, but are having trouble recalling it right now.

God bless!


Thanks for replying ZZ92. I do understand that the Catholic Church wants to make sure that someone isn’t jumping into RCIA as a spur of the moment thing, and that it is a process and I (we) are on a spiritual journey and it is not all about what you know (academically). I have been attending a Catholic church for a year now. I guess there is no real answer to my situation other than I have to work it out with The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.:slight_smile:


I have been thru several RCIA programs as a sponsor. Just relax and never be afraid to ask a question no matter how unimportant you may think it is. I have talked to so many who are afraid to ask because they don’t want to be thought as confrontational, silly or whatever. Ask that question anyway as there are probably others that want to know too. As for the handouts, they are there to be openers for the discussion group. Just give simple answers.You will be surprised how much you learn in those groups, even for us oldies. It will be a very interesting journey, just relax and learn as you go. Prayers for you on your journey. God Bless, Memaw


I have a similar problem if someone asks about my feelings (beyond the how-are-you-I’m-fine exchange) or if I have to explain an emotional response. I have to spend quite a bit of time thinking about it. I’ve learned to say, “I have to think about this for a while - I’ll get back to you.”

In the small groups, don’t go first and listen to what others are saying. Something said might “unfreeze” you. If not - don’t worry about it. No one is going to judge your “convert readiness” this early!


WELCOME HOME!!! I went through RCIA last year and often we would have those kind of question sheets. Sometimes my response was waaaaaaay different than what it appeared Deacon G was getting at. Oh, well. Your RCIA leader and your priest are probably going to be more concerned with your spiritual growth than what you may or may not be able to express on a handout. Just relax and enjoy this beautiful journey. It will get better and better as you go along. Oh, and did I say WELCOME HOME?!!!?!


Handout questions are not always worded well to draw out your thinking. It is like some talk show hosts know how to ask questions that get the guest speaking, while other hosts ask all “yes/no” questions and that is all the guest ends up saying, “yes”, “no”, “yes”, “yes”.

One of the other responders suggested listen to others in the group first - they will give ideas about the handout questions, perhaps. If that doesn’t work, I end up blurting out something like “now what do you suppose they meant by this question? or Why do you think they asked the question this way?” And doing that, you get the group answering your question and then it can give you ideas to talk about.

I say this because I lead bible studies where the questions in the book are either awkwardly worded or seem too simple for what we are thinking about, so I get the group thinking about the wording of the question before we ever start answering any questions.

John Martin


I lead Inquirer’s and can definitely assure you not to worry!! The questions are more for you and your discernment! They are also to help generate discussion in class and to “jog” your memory on Catholic things you may not understand, such as saints, the Pope, holy water, prayers, etc. Inquirer’s is a time to ask your questions and discern your journey closer to God. The leaders of your class are not there to judge you. Rather, the purpose is to make you feel comfortable enough to question and discern. I recently had a person in my class who just drew a blank whenever he was faced with a small sheet of questions. He would simply say that he had no answer- and that was fine with us. The important thing for you to remember is that this class is for YOU- so come and enjoy. And welcome home!!!


Even if you think you know many of the topics, Information overload can cause forgetfulness. I joined the Church before RCIA, so I had one-on-one weekly classes for a full year. Even with all that individual attention, I still didn’t know that missing Mass without a good reason was a mortal sin! It was some years later that I found out. I was probably told that, but it didn’t stick in my memory.

There were a few other Protestant ideas I held onto without realizing they were Protestant. I think I’m 100 per cent Catholic now! :slight_smile:


Welcome! :thumbsup::):clapping::yup::bounce:

I have been around Catholicism most of my life so don’t know what that’s like. It’s easy to take this all “for granted”. A LOT of people don’t know this information. That’s why they have these classes!

I would just say to do your best, to try to relax. If you don’t know something, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Hail Mary, Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blest is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


Hi. Welcome home. We consider the Catholic Church as the Church that Jesus started and built and continues to do so even today. By coming home, you have touched the heart of the Father. Just think of the father as he welcomed back his long lost son. You can be that son, that daughter. Do not be afraid or feel foolish. It was not easy for the son to come back but coming back he did. And when he was back, all of the things past that he had done were forgotten. And really, nobody will remember your deficiencies, if there are any. What is more important is the coming back.

Please be encouraged and be blessed, remembering that you are coming to the right place where you are much welcome with open arms.

God bless you.


One other point. Make sure to ask lots of questions, even ones you think you know the answer to. The reason, it helps the RCIA leaders with interaction, and helps for them to address topics you are interested in. And the question you already know the answer to is a question someone else didn’t know, and was too embarrassed to ask. Ask lots of questions, because you can help out the others in your class.

Also, if your RCIA director is a lifelong Catholic, there are lots of little things they are “blind” to because it is something that has always been part of their life, whereas for Protestants, all the new stuff and terminology can be very daunting and intimidating. Even questions like why we light candles, or what does “paten” mean?


*Luke 15:18 I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.19 I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ 20 So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ 22 But his father ordered his servants, ‘**Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. *23 Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.


Thank you for all who responded with your thoughts and prayers. It has been very helpful. God Bless all of you.:smiley:


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