The Association for Catechumenal Ministry

Fostering the Full Implementation of the Order of Christian Initiation

What Should Sponsors Avoid?

Here are a few suggestions for sponsors to avoid.  These are based on the common experiences of those in parish ministry:

Referring to the person you are serving as a "non-Catholic"

Overwhelming him/her with chatter, advice, and knowledge of Catholic doctrine and practice

Prying or insisting on knowing information or sinful behavior that he/she wishes to keep private

Sharing your interior life and struggles in a form of spiritual "one-upmanship"

Assuming he/she will necessarily become a Catholic or become a Catholic this Easter

Making guesses as to the Correct answer to a question, or beginning or discuss a Church teaching with "I've never understood why..."

Allowing discouragement or difficulties to shake your trust in God's providence and loving care of the person you are serving

Speaking of or treating Catholic beliefs or practices with disrespect

Trying to make the person you are serving a Catholic in your image

Using the RCIA sessions to get your own questions answered or to express your frustrations with the Church

Commenting on who does (or does not) attend parish-sponsored devotions

Expressing overly opinionated preferences in hymns, liturgical traditions, or why you think one cultural or ethnic expression of spirituality is better than another.

Giving extravagant gifts or gifts beyond your means

Assuming that the nature of your relationship during the RCIA process will always be the basis of your relationship with your new Catholic and that it will not change and evolve