On the one hand, Easter expresses the most significant Event in history. The Rising of our Lord Jesus from the dead offers all persons the invitation to live with confidence and hope. Because of the Resurrection of our Lord, we are offered the forgiveness of all of our sins and the promise of eternal life, a reality that embraces life both here and beyond death.
While the Resurrection of our Lord is a decisive Event, it is also an on-going process into which we are invited to grow. As we take to heart the Good News of our Lord’s Rising from the Dead, we will grow in the awareness that our Lord’s Easter Victory calls for a response from each of us that is on-going.
The Catholic Church offers non-Catholic persons a unique opportunity to explore the Faith that we gather to celebrate at each Mass. This is what is referred to as the RCIA process. RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Two versions of this process are being offered. One is for persons from 7 years of age on up who have never been baptized. This process normally begins in late summer and leads to reception into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Liturgy.
The other version of the process, referred to as “Join Us At The Table,” is for non-Catholic persons who have already been baptized and who desire to participate fully in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church. Persons for whom this version is designed is for those who have been coming to Mass on a regular basis, non-Catholic parents who have been supporting their Catholic partner in raising their children in the Catholic Faith, and individuals who have received significant Christian formation in a non-Catholic Christian faith community. The length of time for formal preparation leading into reception into the Catholic Church will vary, depending upon the background of each individual. Persons in this situation can be received into the Catholic Church at any time during the year.
JUDY HESS POMPEI is the RCIA Coordinator for both St. Mary and Resurrection Parishes. While the RCIA process is designed for non-Catholic persons who want to explore the Catholic Faith, Catholic persons are also invited and encouraged to participate. Catholic participants can encourage and support non-Catholic persons who want to learn more about the Catholic Faith. Catholic individuals who are in good standing with the Church can serve as godparents or as sponsors for persons who want to join the Catholic Church.
Non-Catholic persons who want to explore the Catholic Faith via the RCIA process are encouraged to contact Judy Hess Pompei soon. Judy can be reached via telephone at 419-589-3585 or via e-mail at [email protected] Non-Catholic participants in the RCIA process are in no way obligated to join the Catholic Church.
The choice of the word, “process,” for RCIA is deliberate. “Process” applies to all who identify ourselves as Catholic Christians. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is a Way of Life into which we are all invited and challenged to grow. God’s love for us in Jesus is holistic. It reaches into all facets or aspects of our lives. God’s total offering of Himself for us in Christ calls for a response from us that is total. On-going Christian Formation helps us to recognize both how God’s love for us reaches out to us in all areas of our lives and points to how we might express our love for the Lord in grateful response in the manner in which we relate to our time, abilities, financial resources, ourselves, others, and the environment.
Regardless of who we are, the Lord invites us in an on-going way to experience and to extend His redeeming love in all of the settings in which we live.
Have a Blessed Easter!
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor