I have a confession to make. I’ve never been to an Easter Vigil Mass before. Can you believe it? All my life, Easter has always been an Easter morning sort of thing. I can now honestly say that I had no idea what it is that I was missing!! The Easter Vigil was one of the most beautiful Masses I’ve ever been to and that is just one of the many blessings that I’ve received by joining the parish RCIA team this year.
RCIA is a whole different animal, isn’t it? While I understand the importance of catechizing individuals of all ages, I never really appreciated the difference between working with the parish youth and working with adults. As you all know, catechizing youth is generally structured with focusing on one broad theme for the entire year. In my case, the 6th Grade curriculum is primarily focused on the Bible, comparing the Old and New Testaments in an effort to better understand Salvation History and how it connects between the two collection of books. In RCIA, it’s a much broader approach. You have to try to share as much of 2000+ years of Scripture and Tradition in one year.
What seemed like an impossible task, has proven to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It has not only been a privilege to follow Christ’s command to “make disciples”, but the discussions are so much more profound at this level. You can explore topics in much greater detail, helping foster a deeper understanding. Additionally, those discussions have helped me develop my own faith further by forcing me to contemplate some of the topics and questions in a way that I have never done before.
But there is something else that is uniquely special about RCIA … the Easter Vigil. The reward at the end of the program, not only for the candidate or catecumen, but also for the catechist. It’s not like sharing the faith with youth, which has its own rewards; but you get to witness your ministry bear fruit right before your very eyes. I was able to witness the rebirth of an individual through Baptism, who was then fortified by the Holy Spirit through Confirmation and unified with Christ through First Holy Communion; and the Holy Spirit did it in part through me. I have been truly blessed!
Until next time, keep sharing the faith!