BECOMING CATHOLIC PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Becoming Catholic is a Prince of Peace adult formation program which leads to initiation into the Catholic Church. It is also an opportunity for confirmed Catholics--or anyone--to learn more about the Catholic faith. Participants, during the formation period, read and view materials we provide, spend time in prayer and reflection, and journal weekly. On Sunday mornings, 9:30-10:45 AM, we meet to discuss assignments, have conversations, pose questions, and share information about the faith. The program is 14 weeks long and offered twice per year, September-December and January-April. We are offering a summer session this year, 2021, which begins June 6. Those with little prior Christian religious education continue their formation beyond the 14-week period with a customized program of self-study.
Anyone interested in the program should read the details below. If you have questions, contact program coordinator Dr. Dale Wisely.
Becoming Catholic Details
At Prince of Peace, All Are Welcome. Becoming Catholic is a version of RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, for those who feel called to become Catholic. Our program welcomes those who have not been baptized, those who were baptized in other Christian denominations, those who were baptized as Catholics but never were confirmed, and all who wish to learn more about the Catholic faith.
For most participants, our program is shorter than traditional RCIA programs, but rich in content and encouraging of prayer and discernment. We have learned that many would like to join the Church--some, in fact, have attended Mass and desired to join the Church for years--but cannot commit to many months of weekly meetings typical of traditional RCIA. Work schedules, family responsibilities, and other factors preclude this for many.
“Becoming Catholic” is a blended study program. Participants, on their own time, read and view materials we create and provide. This includes a book that presents the fundamentals of Catholicism (Fr. Oscar Lukefahr’s We Believe: A Survey of the Catholic Faith). Participants, during each week, spend time in prayer and reflection, and journal weekly, sending their entries to our team.
On Sundays, 9:30-10:45 AM, participants meet with our team. These live meetings allow us to discuss assignments, have conversations, pose questions, and provide some additional content.
REGISTERING AND PARTICIPATING IN BECOMING CATHOLIC
There are typically two sessions per year - September-December and January-April. (We are offering a summer session this year, 2021, which begins June 6.) Once you are registered, a team member will get in touch with you. When appropriate, the formation team will offer some customization of the program, based upon your history of involvement in Christian worship. (The Catholic Church distinguishes between Candidates (baptized individuals of other Christian denominations) and Catechumens (those not baptized.) (Note: The Catholic Church typically accepts Baptism by other Christian denominations.)
In our program, most Candidates are able to complete the program and be fully received into the Church after completing 14 weeks of study, which includes attending Sunday morning meetings, and spending time in prayer and reflection. Those who have little or no involvement in Christian worship and who have not been baptized (Catechumens), complete additional formation, but do not need to attend additional weekly classes.
Requirements for Candidates and Catechumens
- All participants must commit to attending Sunday morning meetings and to take responsibility for study, prayer and reflection, and sending the team weekly journal entries, on their own time, each week of the program. Our team is aware that some individuals have difficulties reading, studying, and writing due to learning differences. We are committed to work with such individuals so that they may complete the program. If these difficulties exist for anyone enrolling in the program, please contact coordinator Dr. Dale Wisely to discuss confidentiality and develop an alternate method of participating.
- Participate in parish life at Prince of Peace. Mass attendance is essential.
- Complete a 14-week formation period. Requirements include, but are not limited to
○ completing weekly assignments (reading, videos, online materials)
○ writing a weekly journal entry as evidence of engagement (we provide alternatives for candidates who struggle to write.)
○ spending time weekly in prayer and reflection
○ attending Sunday morning meetings
- Request, in writing, their desire to receive the Sacraments of Initiation
Specific Requirements for Catechumens (those who are not baptized and/or those with little or no history of religious education or worship involvement) continue an additional period of formation after completing the 14-week program requirements as above.
- Meet with a spiritual mentor (team member or other, as approved)
- Be involved in parish life, with a focus on involvement in service
- Complete a customized plan of additional study and formation
Topics in our 14-week series
- Introduction, Orientation, the Creed
- Trinity; Christ as Fully Man and Fully Divine
- Scripture and Teaching Tradition
- Sacraments: Baptism, Confirmation, Reconciliation
- Sacraments: Matrimony, Holy Orders, Anointing of Sick
- Sacraments: The Mass Explained, Eucharist
- Catholic Morality
- Contemporary Issues in Catholicism
- How to Participate in Parish Life
- Catholic Traditions (Mary, Prayer traditions)
- Preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation
Summer Program - June 6-August 29, 2021
Meetings (Sundays 9:30-10:45 AM) at Prince of Peace
Informational meeting on Sunday, May 16, 9:30 AM
June 6, 13, 20, 27
July 11, 18, 25
August 1, 8, 15
August 22: Mini-retreat, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM (ending with lunch)
Tentative: Confirmation, Sunday, August 29, Prince of Peace, 5:00 PM Mass.
Fall Program: September 12-December 12, 2021
Meetings (Sundays, 9:30-10:45 AM) at Prince of Peace:
No meeting on Oct. 31
No meeting on Nov. 28
December 5: Mini-retreat, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM (ending with lunch)
Tentative: Confirmation, Sunday, December 12, Prince of Peace, 5:00 PM Mass.
Spring Program: January 9-April 10, 2022
no meeting on January 16
no meeting March 27
April 3: Mini-retreat, 9:30AM-12:00PM
April 10: Confirmation (details to follow)