RCIA Catechist's Manual, 2nd Edition
Association for Catechumenal Ministry Barbara A. Morgan and William J. Keimig, Editors
Distributed by Liturgy Training Publications
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This spiral-bound Catechist's Manual is a priceless gem for catechists who serve within the parish RCIA catechumenal process. It was designed by a team of clergy, catechists, directors of religious education, RCIA directors, diocesan officials, and theologians to be a practical help for catechists as they craft the catechetical portion of any RCIA session. Each copy of the Catechist's Manual comes with a free copy of the RCIA Overview Chart.
Table of Contents
Now, we will examine the different sections of the Catechist's Manual using the table of contents as our guide.
Section One: Using the Catechist's Manual
This section is very short: only 2.5 pages, and it explains the following sections.
Section Two: Introduction to Christian Initiation - A Liturgical, Catechetical, & Pastoral Process
This section provides a summary of the structure of the RCIA process, offering a basic context for the following sections that elaborate upon the catechetical aspect of the RCIA process in detail. The liturgical and pastoral aspects of the RCIA process receive much more significant treatment in the RCIA Leader’s Manual.
Section Three: Teaching Variations - How Catechesis Changes in Each of the Four Periods
The RCIA ritual book tells us that catechesis should shift in emphasis (and in method to some degree) as a participant goes through the process (see RCIA, no. 4-7). This section explains in practical terms how those changes serve the process and help foster conversion. It’s important to note that the lesson plans provided in this Catechist’s Manual are primarily written for the Period of the Catechumenate.
Section Four: Teaching Structure: How the Lesson Plans Work
Each one of the 60 lesson plans included in this manual are designed uniquely according to a structure developed by Msgr. Francis D. Kelly in his book titled The Mystery We Proclaim: Catechesis for the Third Millennium. This section's 8 pages are indispensable for someone who wants to glean the most from the Catechist's Manual.
Section Five: Teaching Systematically: How to Determine the Order of Teachings
Ever wondered how to develop a curriculum within the RCIA? This section help you build the skills necessary to determine what to teach when.
Section Six: Teaching Organically: How to Teach the Relationships among Doctrines
The General Directory for Catechesis tells us: "The various elements of the Christian faith should be presented in a well structured way and in harmony with each other by means of an organic vision that respects the 'hierarchy of truths'" (GDC 241). This section aids the catechist in making clear the connections among the doctrines of the faith, so that the catechumens and candidates are able to grasp the unity of the Catholic Faith, to see how every truth that we believe is important and connects with every other truth in a harmonious fashion.
Section Seven: Sixty Lesson Plans
This is the meat of the Catechist's Manual and is priceless in and of itself. We are given 60 Lesson Plans titled by topic. Here is a complete list of the topics:
Anointing of the Sick and Redemptive Suffering
The Battle of Prayer
The Blessed Trinity
The Blessed Virgin Mary
Cardinal Virtues and the Virtues of Chastity and Humility
The Communion of Saints
The Dignity of the Human Person
Ecumenism and Other Religions
The Eucharist (Lesson 1 of 2)
The Eucharist (Lesson 2 of 2)
The Existence of God
The First Three Commandments
The Four Last Things
The Four Marks of the Church
Freedom in Christ
God the Father
The Holy Spirit
Introduction to Prayer
Justification and Merit
The Kingdom of God
The Last Seven Commandments
The Lord's Prayer
Mercy and Justice
The Mystical Body of Christ
Original Sin and the Mystery of Iniquity
The Paschal Mystery
The Priesthood of the Faithful and Evangelization
The Sacramental Economy
Salvation and Redemption
The Second Coming of Christ
The Social Teachings of the Church
The Son of God
The Story of the People of God
Temptation and Sin
Traditions of Prayer
The Two Great Commandments (The New Law)
The Universal Call to Holiness
The Virtue of Faith
The Virtue of Hope
The Virtue of Love
Vocations: God's Call
Each Lesson Plan is composed of two pages. The first page is titled Catechist Preparation and the second page is titled Catechetical Session. Below, we have provided a sample of these two pages for the Lesson Plan on "Faith." Click on either image to view or download the entire page in Adobe Acrobat PDF format:
Appendix I: Table for Matching Catechist's Manual Lesson Plans and Participant's Book Handouts
This handy table helps you choose which handouts from the RCIA Participant's Book to give out to participants according to which topic above you choose for an RCIA session.
Appendix II: Three Examples of Arrangements of Teachings
This section offers three examples of how parish RCIA directors and catechists have used the principles discussed in the introductory sections of this Catechist's Manual to determine an initial ordering of their RCIA teachings.
Appendix III: Glossary of Key Terms for the Lesson Plans
Each lesson plan contains definitions of key terms. This glossary is a compendium of all the key terms found throughout the 60 lesson plans.
Appendix IV: Alphabetical Index of Hymns and Songs in Lesson Plans
Each lesson plan contains recommended hymns and songs for that particular catechetical topic. This section is a simple alphabetical index of all these hymns/songs.
Appendix V: Seasonal Substitutes for Liturgies of the Word and Hymns
These are wonderful recommendations of Scripture passages and hymns to use in lieu of what you will find in the Lesson Plans if you are in the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Lent.
Appendix VI: On Not Using Lectionary-Based Catechesis as the Primary Method to Determine the Order of Teachings
This 5-page section explains how Lectionary-based catechesis does not suit the demands of systematic catechesis because the Lectionary does not follow the hierarchy of truths from Sunday to Sunday.
Appendix VII: Doctrines in the Liturgy for Liturgical Catechesis
This appendix presents numerous citations from prayers of the Mass in the Roman Missal (a.k.a. the Sacramentary), from the sacramental rites, and from other rites and blessings of the Latin Rite that show how the doctrines presented in each lesson plan are prayed in the Church's liturgy.