Ecclesiam res et talia sermocinamur -

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Catechuman's Corner

a bi-weekly feature wherein Layla recounts What She Learned in RCIA
Previous Installment

Class today was, thankfully, a bit more cohesive than last time.

Fr. Joe gave us each a copy of the Redemptorist Handbook for Today's Catholic. While in no way, of course, is this a replacement for the CCC's place in my life, it may replace it in my backpack... I've taken to carrying the Catechism around with me so I can be sure to speak the Truth in my various impromptu battles dialogues with the Presbyterian campus minister and others. At 101 pages, the Handbook is a great deal lighter than the Catechism, but still covers things in as detailed a manner as I usually need for these conversations. So, yay.

Fr. Joe's lecture today covered the Church's view of life and what that means for certain issues that we face. (His statements regarding abortion made the other college student in my class--the president of our College Democrats--squirm a bit.) That was interesting and good, even if he didn't get terribly deep.

He also discussed the Afterlife, but neglected to mention anything at all about Purgatory, which distressed me. We're watching a video about the Church's beliefs about death next time, though, so perhaps that will deal with it. I feel it's important that we get taught that doctrine clearly, since half the class are erstwhile Baptists who've never really been exposed to it.

It's shaping up to look like I'm not going to learn much of anything new, at least not in any detail, in this class. However, I am very blessed to have as my sponsor a man as ridiculously brilliant as he is orthodox, so I trust that I'll be ok.

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Anonymous Jeff S. Lieberman said...


I went through RCIA about seven years ago with my whole family. The class was large (St. Rose Parish in Murfreesboro has been exploding for years!).

It was taught mostly by two lay sisters who genuflected to all things "Vatican II" whenever they had the opportunity.

They often spoke of female ordination, priestly celibacy, St. Patrick's Day parties and how the church is "progressing" toward a more tolerant future - except for those "fanatics" at EWTN!

Father Wiatt Funk, the late Pastor of St. Rose, would sometimes address the class and was always funny and very personable. He had a vast knowledge of Scripture and loved all things musical and artistic - but seemed to be a disciple of the "progressive" movement as well.

Now all of these people had my greatest respect (Lord knows, as a former AG I know how hard the folks work for the church)but I can't say that I learned much about the CCC or the GIRD or anything much else.

What I DID learn is that the Catholic Church is made up of all kinds of people and that God may not be a white Republican from Missouri (Springfield, or course!).

I began to see that although I could never agree with my instructors liberal points of view - at least THEY were there giving of their time and energy.

Therefore, I studied extensively on my own and tried my best to catachise my family. I did fell bad for the many Baptists and other evangelicals that were in RCIA with me. I feel that they had little or no understanding of the basic tenents of the faith and would be left to flounder in a sea of confusion.

The truth is, the Bishops are responsible for seeing that RCIA covers all the bases and creates a solid foundation for the formation of converts.

It is not designed to compete theologically with twenty years of evangelical "Sunday School" or give the catechumen a deep understanding of Thomist philosophy.

Hopefully your overall experience will be good and that there will be some things to take away from it all. With all the avenues open to you for personal study and formation, I'm sure that you will be blessed with a very sure foundation - which is Jesus Christ!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Layla said...

These are all important things to remember. Thank you very much for reminding me.

3:22 PM  

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