Updated: Oct 8
With the Labor Day weekend in the rear view mirror behind us, we have now clearly turned the page from “summer” into “fall.” The days are getting shorter, the oppressive heat of midsummer is at least starting to release its hold on us, and if one looks up at the trees, some of the leaves are beginning their annual “chromatic pilgrimage” from green to their vibrant hues of autumn. This also means the students at every level are resuming “school” in the many varieties of forms of instruction that are happening during this COVID tainted 2020. In terms of “church life,” the beginning of fall also marks several new beginnings for our parish. I would like to reflect on merely one of those beginnings in this article.
This week our parish has begun its annual RCIA program, which is a series of classes in which the basics of the
Catholic faith are presented to adults who are considering becoming Catholic. RCIA classes will meet weekly on
Thursday evenings, under the able direction of Fr. Joachim. Those who sign up and begin attending are not making any pledge or under any obligation to become Catholic. It is a “no pressure” program! All someone is doing by attending RCIA is learning more about the Catholic faith, so that down the road they can make an informed decision about whether or not they believe Christ might be calling them to Catholicism. Fr. Leo has designed a wonderful banner, copied below, which we have hung up at both of our churches to help get the word out about our program. I am happy to say we already have more than a half dozen adults in the program. While that number is great, I believe if we all work together we can grow that number even more.
I would like to challenge everyone in the parish to think of ONE person they know who is not Catholic, but who you can reach out to and ask them if they would like to attend our RCIA meetings this year. It might be that nonCatholic friend who, from time to time, asks you questions about your Catholic faith. It might be an acquaintance who is from some other Christian background but who has expressed dissatisfaction with their current Christian denomination. It might be someone who talks about religion by saying, “I’m spiritual but not religious,” but is always seeking a deeper spiritual connection with the Divine. Heck, it might even be someone who has never expressed to you any interest in religion far less an interest in becoming Catholic! but someone you know to be a naturally curious person who is open to new ideas. Whoever it is: please invite them. If they say “no,” no biggie. At least you tried. But if you explain what the program is, and that it is just a chance to learn about the Catholic faith with NO PRESSURE ever placed on them… you just might be surprised at how many will say “yes.” Remember, though you might be the instrument He uses to extend the invitation… it is Christ Himself who is doing the inviting. And every human heart was created to hear His voice.
Fr. John Paul Walker, OP