The Association for Catechumenal Ministry

Fostering the Full Implementation of the Order of Christian Initiation

RCIA Leader's Manual

RCIA Leader's Manual, 2nd Edition
Association for Catechumenal Ministry
Barbara A. Morgan and William J. Keimig, Editors
ISBN: 978-1-933374-10-9
Distributed by Liturgy Training Publications
To Order by Phone: (800) 933-1800
Orders outside U.S. & Canada: (773) 486-5630
Price: $44.95 ea. - Purchase Online

The Leader's Manual is the fruit of the hard work of various parish directors of RCIA with years of experience implementing the catechumenate in their own parishes.  It explains the RCIA in-depth while simultaneously giving many practical tools to implement the RCIA with ease. Newly published in 2007, this resource is being used in at least 2,500 parishes across the United States and has been purchased by parishes in every diocese of the United States and every province in Canada.

The RCIA Leader's Manual comes with a compact disc (CD) containing many of the items in the manual in printable form such as an information-gathering form for new inquirers, parish bulletin advertisements, and sample agendas for team meetings.  You will also receive the RCIA Overview Chart that folds out as well as a copy of easy reference tabs for your copy of the RCIA ritual book.

To give you a good idea of exactly what you will find in the RCIA Leader's Manual, we've provided you with the Table of Contents below.

Table of Contents

ABBREVIATIONS FOR BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
ABBREVIATIONS FOR MAGISTERIAL DOCUMENTS
GLOSSARY OF RCIA TERMS

Section One: Main Text

Part I: Introduction

Ch. 1.  Using the Leader's Manual
Ch. 2. The Church and Her Mission
Ch. 3. A Brief History of the Catechumenate
Ch. 4. Introduction to Christian Initiation: A Liturgical, Catechetical, and Pastoral Process

Part II: The Liturgical Aspect of Christian Initiation

Ch. 5. Personal Focus: Liturgy as the Prime Means of Conversion
Ch. 6. The Major Rites of the Catechumenal Process
Ch. 7. The Minor Rites of the Catechumenal Process
Ch. 8. Using the Sunday Lectionary for Mass in the Catechumenal Process
Ch. 9. Using the Liturgy of the Hours in the Catechumenal Process

Part III: The Catechetical Aspect of Christian Initiation

Ch. 10. The Foundation of the Catechetical Aspect: Understanding and Being Changed in Christ
Ch. 11. Personal Focus: The Catechist as an Agent of Conversion
Ch. 12. Recruiting, Training, and Forming Catechists

Part IV: The Pastoral Aspect of Christian Initiation

Ch. 13. The Foundation of the Pastoral Aspect: Christ-like Zeal for Souls
Ch. 14. Personal Focus: The Signs and Stages of Conversion
Ch. 15. An Overview: Pastoral Components of the Catechumenal Process
Ch. 16. The Evangelizing and Welcoming Parish
Ch. 17. The Clergy-Laity Relationship in the Catechumenal Process
Ch. 18. The RCIA Team
Ch. 19. Godparents and Sponsors
Ch. 20. Using Small Groups in the Catechumenal Process
Ch. 21. Using Pastoral Principles to Address Challenging Situations in the Catechumenal Process
Ch. 22. Canon Law Issues in the Catechumenal Process: The Sacrament of Baptism
Ch. 23. Canon Law Issues in the Catechumenal Process: The Sacrament of Matrimony

Part V: Conclusion

Ch. 24. Portrait of a New Catholic

Section Two: Appendices

The entire section of appendices of this Manual is copyable, and is also provided on CD-ROM (found in the front pocket of the Manual) to allow for unlimited printing or downloading for modification to a parish's needs.  Any of the material in these seven appendices may be modified in whatever way a parish RCIA leader deems appropriate.  The PDF documents on the disc are programmed to allow a user to highlight the text on-screen and move it to a hand drive, or simply to print a document with its formatting intact.

Appendix I: Items for Inquirers and Participants

  • Sample Inquirer Information Cover Letter
  • Adult Inquirer Information Form
  • Child/Teen Inquirer Information Form
  • RCIC Parents' Active Participation Form
  • Current Marital Status Follow-Up Form
  • Previous Marriage Information Form
  • A Guideline for Writing the Story of Your Marriage for the Purpose of Seeking a Decree of Nullity
  • Affidavit of Baptism
  • Discernment Interview Prior to the Rite of Acceptance or the Rite of Welcoming
  • Discernment Interview Prior to the Rite of Election or the Rite of the Call to Continuing Conversion
  • Instructions for Letter to Request Faculties to Baptize or Confirm Adults
  • Sample Letter to Request the Faculty to Confirm Baptized Catholics
  • Christian Initiation Record
  • Sample Personal Letter to Encourage a Person Who Has Inconsistent Attendance
  • Sample Personal Letter to Encourage a Person Who Can't Currently Attend Sessions
  • Sample Personal Letter to Encourage a Person to Attend Upcoming Retreats for the Rites
  • Sample Personal Letter to Encourage a Person to Continue Attending After a Break
  • Sample Personal Letter to Explain the Concept of "Reflection on the Word" to a Catechumen

Appendix II: Items for Godparents and Sponsors

  • Interview Questions for a Potential Godparent or Sponsor
  • Godparent or Sponsor Information Form
  • Certificate to Serve as a Godparent or Sponsor
  • Sample Letter to a Potential Godparent or Sponsor
  • Sample Job Description for a Godparent or Sponsor
  • Sample Outline of Godparent/Sponsor Training Session(s)
  • Handout on Some Practical Suggestions for Godparents and Sponsors

Appendix III: Items for Teams

  • Interview Questions for a Potential Team Member
  • Evaluation Form for a Team Member
  • Sample Letter to Call Together Members of an RCIA Team
  • Sample Agenda for an Initial Team Meeting
  • Sample Job Description for a Specific Role on the RCIA Team
  • Sample Questions That Could Be Used to Evaluate the Parish RCIA Process
  • Handout on Giving a Personal Testimony (Witness)

Appendix IV: Items for Advertising

  • Sample Personal Letter to a Potential RCIA Inquirer
  • Sample Advertisements for Newspapers, Penny Savers, and Other Secular Venues
  • Sample Advertisements for a Parish Bulletin

Appendix V: Items for Bulletins

  • A Walk Through the RCIA Process in the Parish Bulletin
  • A Walk Through the Calendar Year in the Parish Bulletin
  • Requests for Letters of Good Standing

Appendix VI: Items for Liturgies

  • Prayers of the Faithful by RCIA Event
  • Prayers of the Faithful by the Calendar
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Combined Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens and Rite of Welcoming of Candidates
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Combined Rite of Sending Catechumens and Candidates
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Penitential Rite (for Baptized Candidates Only)
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Scrutinies (for the Unbaptized Elect Only)
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Presentation of the Creed
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Presentation of the Lord's Prayer
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation (for Baptized Candidates Only)
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Preparation Rites on Holy Saturday
  • Liturgy Preparation for the Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil

Appendix VII: Items for Apostolic Activities and Retreats

  • Suggestions for Corporal Works of Mercy That Can Be Explained and Initiated
  • Suggestions for Spiritual Works of Mercy That Can Be Explained and Initiated
  • Suggestions for Places to Visit as Part of a Retreat or an Independent Field Trip
  • Suggestions for Different Kinds of Testimonies or Witness Talks
  • Suggestions for Different Subjects for Guided Meditations
  • Suggestions for Different Forms of Prayer in a Retreat Setting
  • Suggestions for Other Create Retreat Elements
  • Suggestions for Small Group Formats During Retreats

Section Three: Seminar Handouts

The seminar handouts are not intended to be an integrated part of the preceding two sections of the RCIA Leader's Manual.  Instead, they are provided for those who take advantage of the Association for Catechumenal Ministry's (ACM) Team Training and Catechist Training Seminars, or who view them in a recorded format.  These highly practical handouts are also used to complement ACM's RCIA distance-education modules (to be published soon), which are designed for those who cannot attend ACM's live seminars or who do not have access to a recorded version.

The twenty Team Training handouts provide a comprehensive and highly detailed walk through the three aspects (liturgical, catechetical, and pastoral) of the Christian initiation process.  The seventeen Catechist Training handouts break down the work of the catechist into three parts - method, content, and themes for each of the periods of the RCIA process - providing an in-depth picture of what it means to teach for conversion, and how that teaching serves the liturgical and pastoral aspects of passing on the faith.

Team Training Handouts

The Vision for Christian Initiation - Entrance into Christ

  • The Modern Catechumenal Proces: A Modern Restoration of an Ancient Practice
  • A Rite of Passage: A Fourth Century Easter Vigil
  • Ordo Initiationis Christianae Adultorum: The Practices of the Early Church
  • The Conversion Process: Three Approaches
  • Participation in God's Life: The Four Means of Entrance into Christ's Life

The Liturgical Aspect of Christian Initiation

  • Liturgy: Communion with God
  • Liturgy of the Word: Using a Celebration of the Word of God in a Catechetical Setting
  • Liturgical Components of the Process: Gateways and Sources of Grace for Conversion
  • Living the Liturgy in the Christian Initiation Process: Fostering Intimacy with Christ and the Church

The Catechetical Aspect of Christian Initiation

  • Catechesis: Echoing What God Has Revealed
  • Catechetical Components of the Process: Illuminating and Securing the Path of Faith
  • Scripture: The Feast of the Word
  • Truths of the Faith: Lights for the Path

The Pastoral Aspect of Christian Initiation

  • The Challenge of Charity: Life in the Family of God
  • Pastoral Components of the Process: From Initial Motivation to Firm Conviction to a Catholic Worldview
  • Signs and Stages of Conversion: Coming to Conversion
  • Companions on the Journey: Godparents and Sponsors
  • The Clergy-Laity Relationship: A Microcosm of the Church
  • The Evangelizing and Welcoming Parish: The Role of the Parish in the Christian Initiation Process
  • Seven Principles Found in the Order of Christian Initiation
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