Throughout the New Testament, we read story after story about those who found Christ — people whose eyes were open to Who He is and what He has done for us. We see people like Saul — St. Paul — when he recognized the error of his ways and accepted Jesus Christ and His Church as the way to eternal life. It is easy to read such stories and distance ourselves as if these are simply the experiences of the early Church, of the first Christian converts. But in reality, Jesus calls all of us to Himself, and as men and women recognize His call and see Him as their Savior and His Church as the vehicle through which we are called to be saved, they experience the same conversion stories as the early Christians. In turn, we welcome them into the Church through our Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
“RCIA is a conversion process,” says John Cave, who currently coordinates RCIA here at St. Francis with his wife, Amee. “It is a constant metanoia, a constant turning to Christ and His Church and understanding what that means.”
John, who converted to the Catholic faith himself, says that the RCIA process provides a depth of understanding of the faith unlike anything else. He says that he can remember going through the RCIA process with so many questions and coming out with an understanding of Christ and His Church that he never fathomed before.
“There is so much more to the Truth of Christ than anything I had been told before,” John says. “As I sat through the RCIA classes, it was like everything made sense. I had so many questions that were answered, and my understanding of Jesus was deepened in the most profound way.”
Yet, even after being received into the Church, John’s catechesis didn’t stop there. He continued to take RCIA classes, recognizing that we are always learning and there is always more to understand.
“Going through the classes, even as a Catholic, is such an eye-opening experience,” John says. “I went to more classes after becoming Catholic because I knew there was more to learn, and as I sat through those classes I was more and more amazed at the truth of our faith and how much everything just makes sense.”
So when John and Amee joined St. Francis of Assisi six years ago, getting involved in RCIA made sense.
“We knew we wanted to get involved, and we asked what we could do,” John says. “Deacon Tom said that he would love for us to help with RCIA, so we gladly stepped in, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it!”
John says that watching people come to a greater realization of Christ’s truth is a privilege and a blessing for him and Amee, and he encourages all of us to consider serving in whatever way we can.
“There is always a need for volunteers in RCIA,” John says. “We need people to serve as sponsors and people to help serve at the RCIA retreat, as well as at the end-of-year dinner. There are many opportunities, and I invite everyone to consider being a part of it. It is a wonderful ministry.”
RCIA classes begin on Sunday, Sept. 10, and they will take place in Fr. McGivney Hall every Sunday after the 9:30 a.m. Mass until Easter — allowing for times like fall break and spring break, during which the classes will not meet. The meeting calendar follows the Douglas County School District’s schedule throughout the year. And the classes will conclude with the pinnacle of the liturgical year — at Easter — when the candidates and catechumens are welcomed into the Church!
If you know of someone interested in exploring life as a Catholic, be sure to point them toward RCIA!
To learn more about our RCIA process, or if you are interested in serving with RCIA, contact John Cave at 303-552-8728.