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Becoming Catholic: RCIA in September 2012

The summer RCIA inquiry has had a successful run. Topics discussed included the authority of the Church including how the Pope communicates the faith to the faithful. The basics of belief in the Creed and the Mass were followed by learning about holy things, sacramentals, the liturgical year and Holy Days. The last few sessions are detailed below.

Luke’s Annunciation account (1:26-38) shows us Mary’s humble answer in cooperating with God’s plan. The Constitution of the Church of Vatican II describes Mary’s role: “…in suffering with Him as he did on the cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope and burning love.” The Church teaches that every man and woman is made in the image and likeness of God and by Baptism they become adopted children of God, thus all human beings are called to holiness. The saints have answered God’s call to holiness by way of obedience, faith, and love just like Mary.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church indicates that “the seven sacraments instituted by Christ touch all stages and all the important moments of Christian life…There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of the spiritual life.”

The sacraments of Christian initiation include Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist which lay the foundation of every Christian life. During this stage, man receives the new life of Christ. Jesus Christ has willed that his Church, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to continue his work of healing and salvation. The sacraments of healing are Penance and Anointing of the Sick. The sacraments at the service of communion which direct towards salvation of others are Holy Orders and Matrimony. Salvation involves the transformation of human nature. The process starts with Baptism and continues until we attain the beatific vision. Purgatory is the final step in this process where we are prepared to be in heaven forever. The Church, the sacraments, Mary and the communion of saints are part of God’s plan for the salvation of man.

Our Summer Inquiry Sessions ended with an overview of what we have to believe in order to be Catholic. These basic concepts are reinforced by the requirements of Mass attendance, Eucharist reception and confession. The session also included guidance on what the church teaches about major moral issues such as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment and war.

Monsignor Gregory Gier, Father John Grant and Deacon Jerry Mattox are some of the speakers for the RCIA sessions beginning on Wednesday, September 5, 2012. This will be in the main Cathedral at 7 pm for an introductory session. The following week we will meet downstairs in the Halpine Room and will continue to meet there at 7 pm each Wednesday evening until Easter. These classes are for anyone curious about the Catholic Church, and also for anyone who has been distant from the Church and wishes to reconnect.

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