Thursday, 11 March 2010

On the RCIA, by Jessica D'Souza

Here's a lovely bit of sharing about the RCIA by Jessica D'Souza, a former Don Bosco parishioner:
When we migrated from India to Canada, going to Church was still one of our main priorities. One Sunday after mass the lay pastoral associate went up & talked about the RCIA. That’s an adult interested in becoming Catholic should sign up for the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)

To us it was all so new & abstract. After a couple of times we understood, that even an adult could get into our Catholic faith by being baptized, receiving the Eucharist, and being confirmed.

After a couple of years, Sudhir & I were approached by the Deacon of the parish to sponsor some Candidates. The role of a Sponsor is to be a companion, guide, representative of the community & a witness.

Initially we thought it was not meant for us, or that we were not worthy to be called by the Holy Spirit. So the Deacon said we could go home & pray over it. Since Sudhir is involved in our Little Man (Shane’s) extracurricular activities, I thought it would be the best thing for me, to be able to give something back to the church & the community.

The RCIA is a faith journey for adults, wishing to either get into the Catholic Church or get back into their faith, something they've not being practicing for years.

Classes are held every Tuesday night & we have 3 retreats to go for. It’s a process from September right up to after Easter, which is a period of Mystagogy.

The church in the western world makes this process so accessible, & it's amazing to see the numbers growing. This year we have a class of 11 elect & candidates.

It’s amazing to experience the faith these adults come with & by the time they're done... Honestly, some of them have such a thirst for knowledge & their belief in God & the Holy Spirit is unbelievable. They tell us their story of encountering the Holy Spirit & how their lives have changed. They come from different walks of life.

For me too, being a cradle catholic, having learnt Catholicism when young, I barely knew anything. Learning as an adult & my faith journey with my candidate has increased my knowledge and faith multifold.

I've learnt many lessons in life as well. Now for me, I know for sure that the Holy Spirit is my real teacher, God is in charge & that Prayer is a very important tool. Becoming Christ like is my goal.

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