Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ideas for involving the assembly in the Catechumenate

At our last Catechumenate Support Group meeting on October 5, 2006, we brainstormed ways to catechize the assembly about the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and to involve them more in the process of initiation. Here are some ideas we talked about:
  • Have a poster, wall, or flyer in the Church and parish meeting rooms with your catechumens' names, pictures, and short bio. Make sure you get permission from adults and from parents of children before posting up their pictures or biographical information.

  • Include in your bulletin a Top 10 List of things to do with your parish's catechumens, e.g., invite them to lunch, or teach them to pray the rosary.

  • Ask parishioners, staff, and school children to write a letter to the catechumens throughout their journey. Joy Aspenall, Catechumenate Coordinator at Saint Martin of Tours, shared with us her letter that she uses to invite parishioners to connect with a catechumen. She has graciously given parishes permission to use and adapt her letter.

  • Be consistent. Repeat what works each year.

  • Invite the school children and youth groups to have a Prayer Box in their gathering spaces where they can write short prayers or notes to the catechumens. Actual prayers and notes written by children to catechumens: "Welcome to God!" "You must feel funny getting baptized so old, but that's okay."

  • Spice up your bulletin announcements. For example, to announce that Rite of Acceptance, include in your bulletin a quiz. For example, "Pop Quiz: What is the Rite of Acceptance? Answer next week at the 10a Mass!"