From Fr. Brian Fier:
What would you do in these situations?
A twenty-plus-year-old man approaches the Church about getting married next spring. In the course of the meeting you learn that he was baptized as a child, and his family attended an Evangelical Christian Church. His fiancé is a practicing Catholic. He is open to learning more about our Catholic faith. He believes it would be good for his future family if he and his fiancé were of one Christian faith.
An eighty-plus-year-old man approaches the Church about getting baptized. Although his wife and extended family are all practicing Catholics, he never got around to embracing the faith. Over the course of his fifty-plus year marriage he attended Church regularly, yet he never seemed to take the “leap of faith.” Now he is ready.
A fifty-plus-year-old woman approaches the Church about receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. During her childhood her family moved around a great deal, plus they were never too active in their Catholic faith. Now she has a number of friends who are practicing Catholics. She is wondering if it is still possible to receive this final Sacrament of Initiation.
A forty-plus-year-old woman approaches the Church about becoming Catholic. She was not raised Christian. When she married a Catholic she agreed to raise their children in the Catholic faith. Over the years she learned about our Catholic faith through the faith formation of her children. Now she wants to explore the possibility of embracing our faith.
A thirty-plus-year-old man approaches the Church seeking to learn more about his Catholic faith. He has always been a Catholic, yet in recent years he has been inactive in his faith. Now that he has children who are attending faith formation classes, he would like to learn more about his Catholic faith.
This is just a small sample of the many people I have encountered over my thirty plus years of ministry. The answer to my initial question is to direct these individuals to the Rite of Christian/Catholic Initiation for Adults (RCIA). This course is open to any and all adults who would like to learn more about our faith. Upon completion of the program—a journey that normally starts in autumn and ends with the Easter Vigil—the person will be invited to embrace our Catholic faith. This may mean receiving one or more of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation) for the first time, or simply being “recharged” in their already existing Catholic faith. The bottom line is that the Church will meet the person wherever they are on their journey of faith.
The RCIA here at the Church of St. Edward meets on Saturday mornings at 10:00am. I will be the teacher—I have some twenty-five years of experience in leading the RCIA. It has always been a privilege to teach, counsel and celebrate our faith with the many and varied individuals who approach the Church interested in learning more about our Catholic faith.
If you or someone you know might be interested in exploring our Catholic/Christian faith, please feel welcome to contact me to discuss the possibility of joining the RCIA. Consider the adventure!
~Fr. Brian Fier