Real Stories of Christian Initiation: Lessons for and from the RCIA

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Overview

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is too often presented as an abstract ideal, detached from the actual parish settings in which it is implemented. This study takes the opposite approach. Based on data from participant observation and interviews, the authors tell real stories of the initiation process in five U.S. parishes. In doing so, they offer a detailed analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the RCIA process in each of the parishes. From these stories collectively they draw lessons for the RCIA as well as lessons from the RCIA for the church as a whole.

Pastors, lay ministers, catechists, and directors of religious education, as well as those in seminaries and dioceses responsible for training them, will find this book helpful in realizing the full potential of the RCIA in general and in particular parish settings.

David Yamane is assistant professor of sociology at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His interest in the RCIA grows out of his own experience of having been initiated as an adult in 1992.

Sarah MacMillen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

Kelly Culver currently works for the Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP) at the University of Notre Dame.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is obviously important reading for all who are involved in their parish’s RCIA process. But it could also benefit all parish leaders and ministry personnel by helping them identify and evaluate the style of leadership/ministry under which their parish operates and recognize the benefits as well as the pitfalls of that model.
Liguorian

The book is a valuable tool for many purposes. It is also a story of the dynamics of the process as experienced in an American diocese rich in diversity and potential.
Pastoral Music

Real Stories offers a variety of tools and models for individuals and teams who are implementing catechumenal adult initiation to do self-evaluation of their own parishes. The book encourages critical questioning, realistic goal-setting, and local adaptation. Most importantly, the authors recognize the beauty and power of every RCIA implementation, no matter what its resources, yet express confidence that with care, every RCIA may be made yet more powerful.
Notre Dame Center for Liturgy Bulletin

This title is a timely study of the RCIA process in the United States. . . .It is not often a book of such honesty appears to celebrate activity and process that we have come to accept as routine.
Catholic Library World

This book is a beginning of significant research on RCIA programs and their differences, and a deeper assessment of what makes them tick.
Catholic Studies An Online Journal

The parish profiles put you in the church pew (or in the lobby, in one case) and let you sit in on the catechumenate process so you can get a real flavor for the parish, its people and the program. The conclusion brings the lessons for the RCIA and from the RCIA into sharp focus for the parish. Definitely worth the space on the shelf.
Crux of the News

This book is a beginning of significant research on RCIA programs and their differences, and a deeper assessment of what makes them tick.
Catholic Book Reviews

This is a unique book. Here for the first time the practical RCIA rubs up against the theoretical RCIA. The marvel is that we can all see ourselves in the five cases that David Yamane and his colleagues have shown us. In seeing both the shortcomings and the successes of faithful people striving to be God’s people, we can find hope and reassurance in our own struggles to implement the RCIA. Professor Yamane reminds us to concentrate intently on the rite of Christian initiation and, at the same time, to relax, allowing the spirit to inform and guide us as we assist people to prepare for and assume the responsibilities of baptism.
Chris Miller, Director of Religious Education, Sacred Heart Parish, Notre Dame, Indiana

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814618264
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press, The
  • Publication date: 1/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


David Yamane is assistant professor of sociology at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His interest in the RCIA grows out of his own experience of having been initiated as an adult in 1992.

Sarah MacMillen is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.

Kelly Culver currently works for the Satellite Theological Education Program (STEP) at the University of Notre Dame.

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Table of Contents

1 St. Mary's : "we're about making disciples" 1
2 St. Mark's : "faithful to the past" 31
3 St. Innocent : "only just the beginning" 55
4 St. John Bosco : task-completion initiation and "experience" 79
5 Queen of Peace : "come and follow me" 99
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