The Southern Cross : September 2010
The Southern Cross September 2010 Page 23 www.adelaide.catholic.org.au pastoral Our Baptismal mission Glenelg, Glynde, Greenacres, Hilton, Kingswood, Marion, Morphett Vale, Paralowie, Plympton, Seaford, Seaton, Toorak Gardens www.digitalhearing.com.au * Free Digital Hearing Aids are available to eligible Pensioners & Veterans.* 1300 557 745 *conditions apply Hearing Tests & Hearing Aid Fittings for Workers Compensation Clients. Private Clients & Self Funded Retirees are our Speciality. Free Hearing Tests The Second Vatican Council changed the way we think about our Baptismal calling, says Brother Patrick Cronin in this article on the RCIA program. We now see our Baptismal calling not just as something we inherited from our parents, school and Church, but something that inspires us to extend the call to others. We know that it is the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of all humans, and we as the human agents in this mission are a necessary part. It is a blessing that in recent years so many people have joined the Catholic Church through the RCIA. The acronym stands for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Nearly all parishes in the Archdiocese of Adelaide have a team, or at least one person, who can assist with RCIA. The ideal situation is that each parish sees itself as an RCIA parish, but in the practical sense, the parish priest commissions someone or a team to manage the process of receiving enquirers into the church. The parish priest has the dual role of attending to the pastoral and sacramental needs of the parishioners, and also to welcoming and initiating new people who have been led to us by the Holy Spirit. The parish RCIA team assists to make the journey of faith through the periods of the RCIA: The enquiry period consists of information nights followed by weekly or fortnightly meetings for a number of weeks at the start to feel comfortable with the language of faith, the scriptures, and their own aspirations. When they are ready, the parish priest invites them to the Rite of Acceptance (if they are to be baptised) or the Rite of Welcome (if they have been baptised already in another Christian Baptism). After the Rite, they are now called "Catechumens" or "Candidates for full Communion of the Catholic Church". In the weeks of the Catechumenate, they learn about the Faith in three ways: through the lectionary, that is the Sunday scriptures; the systematic teachings of the church through regular teaching sessions; and also through the liturgy of Mass through the Advent and Christmas seasons. When they are ready, they are then invited to the Rite of Election. At the Rite of Election on the first Sunday in Lent, they are now called "The Elect of God", while those who are joining the Catholic Church from another Christian congregation are presented to the Bishop at the Lenten Stational Mass. Here the Bishop invites them to make a more intense preparation for reception of the sacraments of Confirmation and First Eucharist. At the Easter Vigil, all the Elect are initiated into the Church through Baptism, and then into Confirmation and First Eucharist with the Candidates for Full Communion. It is a wonderful fulfilment of all the Old Testament and New Testament readings that go with the Easter Vigil. Our congregations see the fulfilment of God's call to Baptismal renewal before our own eyes, and this inspires us to renew and refresh our own baptismal call. After Easter, the newcomers continue to meet with the team on a regular basis until Pentecost for the purposes of deepening their understanding of God's call to this new and sacramental way of life. This gives time for us to get to know them and to welcome them into our community. The newcomers in their will then become new apostles of God's call. These four periods of RCIA are run universally across the world at this time. We pray for all those who are considering taking the steps of RCIA in preparation for next Easter. ̨ For further information, ask your local parish about RCIA or contact the RCIA co-ordinator for the Archdiocese, Br Patrick Cronin cfc on 8416 8452 or at firstname.lastname@example.org also visit www.adelaide. catholic.org.au/sites/OfficeforWorship.