What Should Sponsors Avoid?

Practices RCIA sponsors should 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

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