A Prayer for Peace
our hearts are broken with pain at the senseless deaths caused by gun violence. We ask that you touch our hearts with your love,
heal our brokenness, and turn us away from violence toward peace. Help us to transform our own hearts and to seek peaceful ways of resolving our differences. Let our hands reach out and connect with those who feel alone, those who live in fear, and those suffering from mental illness. Let our voices be raised asking our legislators to enact gun laws to protect all in our society, especially those most vulnerable. Let our pens write messages demanding change while also scripting words of hope and transformation. We ask this in the name of the God who desires that we live together in peace. Amen
(Sisters of Mercy, Justice Team)
Unleash the Gospel and the RCIA, Part 2
During September I had the privilege of leading the RCIA Topics 3 and 4 with a focus on the period of the Catechumenate. The group present at those presentations included some recently initiated participants who reflected on the process they went through in their parish RCIA. When they became aware of what the Rite itself says about the Catechumenate, namely that, the Catechumenate seeks to have the process go through the catechumens and be incorporated into their lives, their response was: Yes that is the way it should be!
You may wonder: Is there a difference? I remember as a novice in the Sisters of Mercy our novice mistress constantly stressing with us not just to “to go through” the novitiate…but instead, to allow the novitiate “to go through us…to become a part of us”. Those words guided my journey during the novitiate and I am very grateful for them.
So what is the role of the RCIA?
I think Archbishop Vigneron describes the role very well when he describes Accompaniment the Pastoral Letter: Unleash the Gospel
Accompaniment of those being evangelized is an essential part of unleashing the Gospel. When Jesus walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, he did not immediately begin to instruct them. Instead he first listened to them and allowed them to share their hopes and disappointments, winning their trust. He met them where they were in their faith and helped them to go further.
Sharing the Gospel is only the beginning of evangelization. Those who are being evangelized….often need time to assimilate the Gospel and bring their lives into conformity with it. They may have developed worldly habits and ways of thinking that need to be gradually transformed. This is not always an easy process, especially for those who have spent many years living apart from God. They need others to walk by their side and lead them closer to God with patience, compassion, and wisdom.
Time and commitment are essential in the RCIA Process. Jesus spent three years with his disciples…and they still did not really get the message but they took into themselves the spirit, the heart, the love and the constant fidelity of Jesus in preaching the kingdom. And when their eyes were opened and their minds cleared with the coming of the Holy Spirit they were ready to preach the kerygma and to give up their lives for the preaching and living of the message.
The key here is that the disciples “took into themselves”…. “allowed the message to become part of them”. After Pentecost they were able to remember the words, to grasp their meanings, and to live with and in the spirit of Jesus. They truly became missionary disciples.
Is your RCIA process designed to have the catechumens “go through” the process or “to have the process go through them”? Perhaps a little examen may help you discern:
- Do you use the Scripture…the life, words and deeds of Christ and their connection with the Jewish testament…as your textbook exclusively?
- (Appropriate catechesis of the catechumens means having them come to know the mind, heart, spirit, love and fidelity of Christ. This means not just a one-time encounter with Christ but a daily living with his words and spirit.)
As I continue reflecting I keep wondering:
- Do you have a sponsor that really understands accompaniment for each of your catechumens? How do you prepare sponsors ready for this ministry?
- Does your parish community know the catechumens and are they invited to accompany them during this journey? How do you provide these opportunities?
- Are your catechumens in the Period of the Catechumenate for at least one year?
- Do you constantly remind yourself that the RCIA is NOT A SCHOOL? It is a CONVERSION JOURNEY.
What would happen if we concentrated on CONVERSION during the Catechumenate and saved the deeper doctrine until after initiation?
What question comes to mind when you reflect on the Pastoral Letter and the RCIA process in your parish? I would love to hear from you so that the reflection on Unleash the Gospel and the RCIA can continue. Click here to share your reflection.
Rite of Election 2018
The schedule for the Rite of Election in 2018 is as follows:
|Saturday, February 17
|Sunday, February 18
All coordinators of the RCIA will receive a letter after Thanksgiving with more information and a form to register the catechumens and candidates in their parish process who have been discerned as fully prepared to be initiated at the Easter Vigil. Remember, there is no teaching during Lent. It is the time of spiritual preparation for initiation.
News from the Vatican
Welcoming Migrants and Refugees
Pope Francis is launching a worldwide week of prayer and action for migrants and refugees from October 7-13. These websites provide resources in English and Spanish: Catholic Relief Services | Share the Journey
“In our own day, hope motivates so many of our brothers and sisters forced to leave their homes in search of a better life, but also those who welcome them, ‘sharing the journey’ with them and trusting in a better tomorrow.” (Pope Francis)
Vatican II Liturgical Reform is "irreversible"
In an address to participants in the 68th National Liturgical Week Pope Francis declared that the liturgical reforms of Vatican II “are irreversible”. The liturgical reforms did not “flourish suddenly” but had been gradually introduced since the time of Pope Pius X who presided over the reorganization of religious music, and created a commission for renewal as far back as 1913. Pius XII wrote the encyclical Mediator Dei (On Sacred Liturgy) in 1947 and introduced the changes to the Holy Week liturgy 1951 – 1956. Theologians and liturgist worked for years studying the history and development of the liturgy and uncovering the original texts to study the original meaning of the actions of the liturgy.
Pope Francis insisted: “It is not a question of rethinking the reform by reviewing decisions, but rather of knowing better the underlying reasons through stuedying historical documentation, and of internalizing the inspiring principles and observing the discipline that regulates it.” Previously Pope Francis had said “….to speak of ‘reform of the reform’ is an error…”
The process of liturgical reform is one that “requires time, faithful reception, practical obedience, and wise implementation in celebration first by ordained ministers, but also by other ministers, cantors and all those who participate in the liturgy.”
Liturgical worship “is not primarily a doctrine to be understood, or a rite to be performed; naturally it is also this, but in another way, it is essentially different: it is a font of life and of light for our pilgrimage of faith”.
Read the full address here.
News from the USCCB
In September 2017, Cardinal DiNardo, USCCB President issued a decree of publication for the Misal Romano. It has been a long time waiting but finally we will have a revised Missal for the Spanish speaking congregations of the United States.
The final text was received from the Vatican in August. Cardinal DiNardo has established a mandatory implementation date for the First Sunday of Advent 2018. There will be three publishers of the ritual edition: Catholic Book Publishing, Liturgical Press, and Magnificat. More information about the actual publication dates and the plans of the FDLC Task Force preparing catechesis on the Misal Romano will be coming soon.
For Pastors and Worship Commissions
Beatification of Father Solanus Casey
The Task Force is hard at work with preparations for the beatification of Solanus Casey on November 18th at 4 PM at Ford Field in Detroit.
If you have not secured your ticket for the celebration please go to:
This is a momentous celebration for the Archdiocese of Detroit. We look forward to welcoming and celebrating with you.
Commissioning Liturgical Ministers
Fall is the time when many parishes provide formation for their liturgical ministers. This formation supports and grows their understanding of the Eucharist and their role as a liturgical minister. All liturgical ministers are, as a rule, are commissioned by the Archbishop for a period of 5 years. This link provides the guidelines and form for parishes to request commissioning of Lectors and of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion.
|Jan. 1, 2018
||Mary, Mother of God is not a holy day of obligation because it falls on a Monday.
||Our Lady of the Rosary
||St. John XXIII, pope
||He is remembered as the pope who opened the windows for convening the Second Vatican Council (1959). It was on this day in 1962 that the first session of the Council met.
||St. Ignatius of Loyola
||He was the first to use the term "Catholic Church" as a name for Christian communities.
||He was a physician and companion of St. Paul. He wrote one of the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. He is patron of medical professionals. It would be appropriate to celebrate a "Health Care Mass" on or near this date for doctors, nurses and others in the medical profession.
||St. John de Brébeuf and St. Isaac Jogues
||They were missionaries to the Huron and Iroquois natives of North America and both were martyred.
||St. Paul of the Cross
||He was a renowned preacher and founder of the Passionists.
||World Mission Sunday
||This is also the feast of St. John Paul II.
||SS. Simon and Jude, Apostles
||All Saints Day ... a holy day of obligation
||Relics of saints may be exposed for veneration by the faithful. They may be carried in the opening procession of the Mass then placed in a location of honor.
||All Souls Day
||It is traditional to visit graves of loved ones on this day. See the Book of Blessings #1734 – 1754 for the Order of Visiting a Cemetery.
1. If a person needs an annulment can they be in the RCIA process?
Yes. There is no reason that would prevent them from entering the RCIA process. Of course their process will take more time and they need to be reminded that they will be a catechumen until their marriage is rectified.
2. Is there a policy in place for preparing children for sacraments when they are Eastern Catholic children enrolled in a Catholic school?
Yes. The policy is attached.
3. Last year I noticed that a lot of parishes were using Alpha as part of their RCIA process. What are your feelings on this?
I think that Alpha is a great beginning experience in the period of Pre-catechumenate for catechumens and candidates especially if it is experienced together with other parishioners. If you go to this site you can listen to Archbishop Byrnes who gives a great explanation of Alpha.
4. Are there guidelines for Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament?
Yes. It is important to remember that Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is no longer a private devotion. There are two documents which govern this rite of the Church, namely: The Order for Solemn Exposition of the Holy Eucharist and Holy Communion and the Worship of the Eucharist Outside of Mass. The Print Shop of the Archdiocese has copies of the Guidelines for Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that can be purchased or downloaded.
5. Do you have any resources to use with parents who drop children off for Mass on Sunday but do not attend Mass themselves?
There is a program that Laura Piccone-Hanchon from the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis has done for parishes called Passing on the Faith. The flyer is attached. She has done this program at about 90 parishes in the Archdiocese.The following link is to a video on YouTube titled: Training vs. Working Out. It is produced by Ascension Press. I think this might be a good conversation starter. You will have to be sure to arrange the group you gather so that they can first have the conversation with each other and then share that conversation with the leader.
Obtaining Low Gluten Hosts
New Archdiocesan Certificates for full initiation, Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist
New Archdiocesan Certificates for those who are welcomed into Full Communion with the Catholic Church
Guia Para La Preparación de la Liturgia de la Confirmacion: the Spanish copy of the Guide for the Preparation of the Confirmation Liturgy
Parishes around the Archdiocese are offering workshops and other experiences for adults who are interested in growing their faith. These are advertised in Parish Mail. You may request to be placed on the list of those receiving the news at aod.org/parishmail.