Faith Formation Series: What’s Happening in Baptism and Adult Initiation (RCIA)?

Part 4 of our Faith Formation Series. Read Part 1; Part 2, Part 3

What’s Happening in Baptism and Adult Initiation (RCIA)?

Baptism

Baptism is a foundational piece of our Catholic faith. You may be wondering how or even if we are celebrating baptisms at this time. The answer is yes, we are, and we have made some changes to the procedure for added safety. Though we took a break from celebrating baptisms last spring and summer, we began celebrating them again in July. Some of these baptisms even occurred at the 11:00 Mass, outdoors!

We now continue to celebrate infant baptisms during all of the weekend liturgies.  If you have been inside the church building within the last several months, you likely noticed that there is no water in the Baptismal Font. This alone makes the process of baptism a little different since we cannot do an immersion for the baptism.

The process of the actual baptism has been altered to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions at this time. I expect this to change as we move forward, past the restrictions. Currently we are not immersing babies for baptism. Father Rob will bless the water in a pitcher, which will then be poured over the back of the baby’s head. The new prayer for the blessing of the water is a lovely one as it recounts our salvation history and how water has been a central feature for God to show his love and grace and saving hand.

When you are ready to have your child baptized, please call me (989-835-6777 ext.231). I will get the process started for you and answer any questions you have. The baptism application can also be found on our website.

RCIA

RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), the process for adults to join the Catholic Church, is still very active in our parish. It may seem a little hidden at this time since we are not gathering as usual. This rite is used for both baptized and non-baptized adults. Let me fill you in with what has been happening since last March.

In March we had three catechumens (unbaptized) and one candidate (baptized) who were preparing to join the Church at Easter. You may remember that even Easter Vigil Mass was cancelled. The Easter Vigil Mass is the pinnacle event where the adult baptisms take place and the new Christians are welcomed to the Eucharistic Table, a time to celebrate all of God’s promises at the highest level. We had been preparing for nearly a year with this goal in mind, so we were crushed with this news.

We were forced to be more flexible and to extend the waiting time. We continued to meet virtually to reflect on God’s Word and how it spoke to us personally. It was hard to wait. Isn’t waiting always difficult?

On June 20th we were able to welcome into the Church Greg Wolfe II, Greg Wolfe III, Christina Wood and Ashlie Dewey! It was a beautiful, joy-filled day! Hard, for sure, but worth the wait!

Then, this fall, we initiated two baptized adults into the Catholic Church. Anna Dorrien and Tracy Glomski were made one with us at the Eucharistic table on November 21, 2020. These are two lovely ladies who both have a deep, strong-rooted Christian faith. We were able to have in-person, small group meetings after Sunday Mass in the early fall to discuss the scriptures. Tracy and Anna, their sponsors Dan Glomski and Anna Doering, and catechists, Edmund Stark and Tim and Cathy Richard had great discussions about living out our faith as Catholic Christians. This process helped each of us to grow and understand our faith better!

Faith sharing in a small community is the heart of the RCIA formation program. If you or someone you know is considering joining the Catholic Church, call me (989-835-6777 ext.231) to find out more about the process and how you can get started.

If you would like to be involved in this ministry in the future by sharing your faith as a catechist or sponsor, I would love to talk to you about it!

Chris Buchalski


 

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