Friday, June 10, 2016

Why does becoming Catholic take a year or more?

I've always said that most RCIA programs are wretched. The teachers often don't know the Faith, the sessions are more like AA meetings than instruction and it's not uncommon to never see a priest. When Rocky went through RCIA, he saw the parochial vicar once and even then, Father was just dropping by and not giving instruction. The young man who taught RCIA was actually married to an Episcopalian minister. Compare this joke process to St. Phillip and the Ethiopian.
I was reminded of how dreadful RCIA can be when I read this essay at the Eye Witness blog by a woman who was nearly driven away from the Church by her experience.


Sal Sal said...

I'm sorry to say it sounds a bit extreme. While perhaps my RCIA experience was much smoother that hers, I certainly didn't fret about it as much no matter the low point, it was by no means a picnic. Perfunctory and filled with people who only half heartedly want to be there is how I would describe it. I kept asking myself, these people are on fire for Jesus? All through RCIA, and now, I attended daily mass and I never saw one of my fellow classmates and only a few on Sunday as well. Most were there because they wanted to marry in the church.

After reading the full article you must admit she was asking for some preferential treatment. It's too easy to pick this aspect of it apart and I don't want to be uncharitable towards her because I'm sure she actually is on fire for Christ. But think about it like this: I was baptized Catholic as a baby perhaps I should have asked to have my first communion and confirmation right on the spot. Every mass I went to I wanted communion. What did I do instead? I prayed for the priests to be strong and holy and for fellow parishioners that they would receive him in the proper disposition and learn to accept His will.

Yes it needs to be revised or scrapped for something more immersive, yes people dropped out and yes people completed never to be seen or heard from again. You can apply the last sentence to so many things that are worthwhile. I figured the minor annoyance was the cost of admission and what was coming afterwards was well worth the wait. I was a "searcher" as she was but if it meant swimming the dirty river to get to Christ after a mispent youth who am I to turn down His challenge? Should I decline the opportunity to prove my fidelity and patience to the One who has been so patient with me? Love IS patient after all.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

Did I tell you it took me four years just to convert, and even then I was waiting an extra two years for confirmation?

Christmas 1984 I read Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose.

Oh, Albigensians were not really Bible Christians? The Inquisition was not an attempt of power hungry Catholic clergy to persecute Christians as good as they, as I had been told? There went ONE main excuse I had for remaining Lutheran, and while converting I was rid of the other one, "indulgences being sold" as well.

But seriously, four years!