Founded in 1998 by a group of bishops, priests, and laity, the Association for Catechumenal Ministry (ACM) seeks to foster the full implementation of the Order of Christian Initiation by providing a communications, resources, and education network for diocesan and parish personnel involved in the work of the catechumenate. The Association’s resources and work reflect its focus on the complimentarity and indispensability of the various components (liturgical, catechetical, and pastoral) of a comprehensive Christian initiation process.
The most important thing to understand about catechumenal ministry is that Jesus Christ is its source, power, goal, and reason for existing.
“In catechesis it is Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, who is taught – everything else is taught with reference to Him – and it is Christ alone who teaches – anyone else teaches to the extent that he is Christ’s spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips.”
(Blessed John Paul II, On Catechesis in Our Time, 6)
“The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with Jesus Christ: only He can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.”
(Blessed John Paul II, On Catechesis in Our Time, 5)
The goal of the catechumenal process is to bring catechumens and candidates into communion with Christ.
This goal is accomplished through the 3 aspects of the catechumenal process:
Helping participants encounter God here as nowhere else.
Helping participants understand and embrace the Deposit of Faith in its fullness.
Helping participants move to deep conversion.
This website is designed to facilitate ACM’s mission by informing and assisting clergy and laity in carrying out the vital apostolic work of catechumenal ministry, with a full appreciation for its liturgical, catechetical, and pastoral aspects. This website contains a great amount of valuable information, and seeks to direct the user to other resources of value, especially ACM’s various publications and training seminars.
Our Full Mission Statement
The Association for Catechumenal Ministry is an organization of Catholic clergy and lay people committed to providing a communications, resource and education network for diocesan and parish personnel involved in the preparation of catechumens for initiation into the Catholic Church, of baptized Christians into the full communion of the Catholic Church, and of uncatechized Catholics for reception of Confirmation and First Eucharist. The Association’s resources and work reflect its focus on the complimentarity and indispensability of the various components (liturgical, catechetical, and pastoral) of a comprehensive Christian initiation process.
The Association carries out its mission by the following means:
- Maintaining a roster of speakers committed to the general philosophy of the Association with expertise in the area of Christian initiation available to dioceses, parishes and Catholic educational institutions.
- Providing seminars, workshops and consultation services to dioceses seeking to develop their catechumenate formation ministries according to the principles of the Association.
- Commissioning texts, handbooks, and other resources for RCIA and RCIC formation consistent with the general philosophy of the Association.
The Association is committed to the following general principles:
- The full and integral initiation of catechumens and candidates into the Church in its doctrinal, spiritual, moral and sacramental dimensions.
- The inculcation in catechumens and candidates of a love for the Church, her traditions, her hierarchical character and her official teaching.
- A model of initiation in which the liturgical and catechetical elements are properly integrated without compromise of either, and both are recognized as pastoral companions.
- A model of initiation that stresses the need for proper pastoring leading to full conversion.
- A commitment to a catechumenal formation in which Catholic doctrine plays an integral and indispensable role.
- A conception of the catechumenate as incorporation into the fullness of the Church that is lifelong, sacrificial, service-oriented, and irrevocable.
- A commitment to the rites of the catechumenate, and of all Catholic liturgy subsequently, as endowed with God’s objective, redeeming and sanctifying power.
- A commitment to catechumenal formation and celebration characterized by the “noble simplicity” required by Vatican Council II, so that RCIA does not become bureaucratized, administratively top heavy and excessively complex.
- A commitment to the cooperative involvement of both pastors and lay catechists at every stage of the catechumenate.
- An exploration of new models of catechesis in relation to traditional teaching procedures, especially those of early Christian catechumenal formation.
- A commitment to making access to Christian initiation available to all regardless of ethnic, social, or economic status.
- A commitment to making access to a process of Christian initiation available to all regardless of the size or resources of a parish, even in small parishes with limited resources.