The Christian Initiation Committee supports the Ontario Liturgical Conference, a consultative body of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Ontario, in matters pertaining to the implementation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and other issues of Christian Initiation. A primary goal of the Christian Initiation Committee is to promote the vision of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as it applies to adults, children of catechetical age and those baptized in infancy.
Preparing to Celebrate Baptism, Confirmation and
In 2014 the
Christian Initiation Committee facilitated a conference for pastors, deacons,
lay pastoral staff, school personnel, parishioners responsible for preparing
others to celebrate Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist; and parish initiation
team (RCIA) members. The conference
focused on fostering a fuller understanding of the primacy of Sunday and
Eucharist as the repeatable sacrament of initiation. The conference was held in
June at Providence Spirituality Centre, Kingston and in September at St. Pius X
conference participants were invited to hear a little of the history of
‘growing up Catholic’ in Ontario during the years immediately before and after
the Second Vatican Council and to realize that the current culture is quite
different. In light of paragraph 75 from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults participants examined the
depth and breadth of a Catholic life and critiqued current pastoral practices
that support or contradict the vision of Sunday Eucharist as the repeatable
sacrament of initiation. At both conferences participants were invited to dream
about making small or large changes in their pastoral practices both in
speaking about the sacraments of initiation within the parish and in
ministering with candidates that would foster a deeper understanding of the
primacy of Sunday and Eucharist as the repeatable sacrament of initiation in
the lives of our Catholic people. A summary of the dreams follow.
vEstablish an initiation
process that respects the person’s readiness.
vA strong parish
community that embraces their role as sponsors and mentors for those seeking
vTo explain to those
seeking initiation from the beginning that Sunday Eucharist is primary, the
source and summit.
vInvite and form
families to sponsor a child or adult seeking initiation.
sponsors’ – a family or person for the family or person to sit with each
vCelebrate well each
and every Sunday.
vEliminate time lines
for the periods of formation – ie allow as much time as needed for the period
of inquiry and catechumenate.
vInclude meetings for
families after they have celebrated Baptism with infants, Confirmation with
young people and First Communion with children, to foster an awareness of the
need for postbaptismal and ongoing catechesis.
vGet the Rite (RCIA)
vPastors that work
with the community and understand / embrace the rites of initiation.
vCelebrate the rites
well so the community is engaged and able to pray with the inquirers,
vEmbrace fully the
apprenticeship model for all initiation.
vTaking the time
necessary to become acquainted with the inquirers, catechumens, candidates
vTake the time to
catechize parents prior to their children celebrating Confirmation or First
vTeach others –
including families how to break open the Gospel. vLearn and practice
discernment. Stop being in a rush to initiate.