Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Beginnings and Beyond Institute: August 19 - 24, 2007

“Being initiated has changed my life drastically; my faith is so much stronger. This parish has been a great guide and the catechumenate team has been fabulous. I could not have done it without them.”

“The initiation ministry at this parish is truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. All of the leaders create a caring and secure environment. This experience has never seemed like a chore but is instead a celebration of faith. It has changed my life!”

These are actual quotes from people in our diocese who have been initiated this year into the Catholic Church through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Whether we hear it or not, the work that God does through our catechumenate ministries indeed changes people’s lives.

Because of this, the Catechumenate Committee of the Diocese of San José invites you to renew, revitalize, and refresh your experience and understanding of the RCIA by immersing yourself deep into the rites and process of initiation at our Beginnings and Beyond Institute.

Beginnings and Beyond
in Spanish and English

August 19 – 24, 2007
Saint Francis Retreat Center
549 Mission Vineyard Road
San Juan Bautista, California
(45 miles south of downtown San José)

Registration form (PDF) in English
Registration form (PDF) in Spanish

Register by June 19, 2007, to receive a discount.

Scholarship Update!
Click here for Scholarship Application - English (Word doc)
Click here for Scholarship Application - Spanish (Word doc)

Ministers from the Diocese of San José receive priority.
For ministers outside of the Diocese of San José, scholarship are available directly from Forum.

Beginnings and Beyond is a five-day workshop-retreat in which participants experience the initiation process, rediscover the power of conversion, look carefully at catechesis, and study and celebrate fully the rites of initiation.

Like the catechumenate, the Beginnings and Beyond Institute is life-changing:

I was asked to coordinate the RCIA in our parish. It is only because of the training I received during the Beginnings and Beyond Institute that I felt confident in this new undertaking. The institute put me in the catechumen’s position of seeking, questioning, discovering, and growing so that I could answer “Yes” to God. I was given a deeper awareness of how to meet people where they are and how to guide them into discovering who they are in Jesus’ eyes. The initiation process was no longer just a document or a book. It came alive for me. –Blessie LaScola, Holy Family Parish, Coordinator of Christian Initiation

I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to be more confident and inspiring co-workers with the Holy Spirit in changing the lives of those who seek to be in a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church.

To register:

Still not convinced? Read on.

Many years ago, I attended Beginnings and Beyond. I was working at Saint Elizabeth Parish in Milpitas and multi-tasking in several roles: teacher training, sacramental prep, and the youth program. The catechumenal model informed every aspect of my work with the parents, teachers, and youth. As my ministry changed over the years from parish-based ministry to high school campus ministry, the catechumenal modal continued to be essential in forming my ministry. Just like the challenges facing today’s faith formation teams in parish-wide catechesis, the catechumens and candidates come with various stages of understanding of the Catholic faith. The beauty of the RCIA process is the flexibility. Beginnings and Beyond helped me gain practical insights on how to adapt the rites to meet the diverse needs of our catechumens and candidates. –Mary-Anne Madruga
My first experience of this immersion process was extremely spiritual on a personal level. Beginnings and Beyond allowed me to go deeper into my own conversion process, beyond the textbook and into the experience of becoming a Catholic. Professionally, I was given tools to adapt and incorporate at the parish level. I met other parish ministers, and we had the uninterrupted time to develop a relationship, listen to the stories, and share wisdom. The experience of sharing in the rituals and rites of the entire process taught me the richness, the importance, and the necessity of each rite and ritual. –Sheila Baldi

Register now (in English) (in Spanish).

For more information, contact Diana Macalintal - 408-983-0136.

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