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Institutes

Forum’s PASTORAL TRAINING INSTITUTES/WORKSHOPS provided ministers–volunteer and paid, full and part-time, lay and clergy–with deeper understanding of the vision of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and the fundamental and advanced skills to implement all aspects of the Rite and its implications for reconciliation.

Institute leaders were/are among North America’s most experienced pastoral ministers, liturgists, catechists, and theologians.

 

INSTITUTE/WORKSHOP Descriptions

I. The Evangelizing Parish Institutes

Provided the ground for all parish ministries, including the ministry of initiation, by presenting the Church’s vision of evangelization in such a way that participants are compelled to reflect this in their own lives and to help their parishes become evangelizing communities.

 

II. The Initiation Experience Institutes

Presented the compelling vision and pastoral skills to implement the initiation process and emphasize the relationship of good liturgy to good catechesis.

 

Beginnings and Beyond

Five-day foundational institute (Sunday to Friday)

For all skill and experience levels

Deepened understanding of the conversion journey

Experience the flow of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Some sessions grouped by particular interest or experience level

Beginnings Plus

Four-day, “compressed” version of Beginnings & Beyond (Thursday to Sunday)

For all skill and experience levels

Deepened understanding of the conversion journey

Experience the flow of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Beginnings

Intensive, three-day introduction to the initiation process

The vision of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Local implementation

May have specialized focus for African American, Hispanic, campus ministry, or rural       communities

Vision of Initiation Ministry

Intensive 2-day introduction to the initiation process

The vision of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Overview of periods and liturgies

Roles in the Initiation Process—Community, All Ministers

Topical issues related to local implementation

 

III. Focus on Initiation Institutes

Concentrated on specific aspects of initiation using presentations, celebrations of the rites, and small group discussions. It was preferable that they follow the Initiation Experience Institutes.

 

Concerning the Baptized

Theological and pastoral realities of working with baptized adults completing their initiation and/or being received into full communion

Suitable paths to Eucharist for both baptized-catechized adults and baptized-uncatechized adults

Children and Christian Initiation

Initiation of children of catechetical age

Their place in the parish initiation process

Particular needs in celebration and catechesis

Principles and examples for adaptation

Precatechumenate

Highlights evangelization

Skills for leading inquirers

Discerning their initial conversion to Christ

Catechumenate

Elements of formation that mark the period: catechesis grounded in liturgical celebrations, the Liturgy of the Word, discernment of the Christian way of life, participation in Church’s apostolic mission

Purification and Enlightenment

The intense spiritual preparation envisioned in the Rite

Scrutinies

Presentations

Holy Saturday

Preparation Rites

Mystagogy

Central features of the period: word, Eucharist, apostolic mission

What it means to be a mystagogue

 

IV. The Initiating Community Institutes

Explored advanced issues of implementation for experienced ministers as they broaden the initiation experience to include the entire community. Small groups discussed, shared, and critiqued models.

 

Echoing God’s Word

Prepared all to live their baptismal vocation by sharing God’s Word

Explored ways to hear scripture and helps lay ministers and clergy prepare for catechesis and preaching

Catechists and preachers learned a method and skills for preparing initiation catechesis

Insights and methodology learned were applicable to catechesis and preaching in many settings: adults, children, Catholic schools, Liturgy of

Developing the Ministries

Shared responsibility

Team approach for initiation

Ministry-based sessions: catechists for adults or children, presbyters, parish coordinators, liturgists, musicians, or sponsors

Praying the Rites

Transitional rites: Acceptance, Sending, Celebrating the Sacraments of Initiation

Principles for adapting the rites

Symbol, gesture, music, and environment

Furthering the Initiation Experience

The parish as initiation community

Critiqued present praxis

Models and skills for discernment

Differentiated catechesis and liturgy when both catechumens and candidates are present

 

V. The Reconciliation Experience Institute

 

Ambassadors of Christ: Building Reconciling Communities

Explores the mystery of reconciliation

Invites participants to reflect on the vision and process of conversion and reconciliation

Explores an understanding of a reconciling community rooted in initiation

Examined present processes and future possibilities for reconciling ministry in the parish

 

VI. The Vision of Initiation Ministry Conferences

These conferences were intended for individual dioceses, formation institutions, and religious communities. For clergy and other pastoral ministers, together or in separate conferences.

 

Vision of Initiation Ministry Conference for Clergy (2 days)

Introduced the vision and practice of adult initiation for clergy in relation to:

Evangelization

Pastoral Formation

Roles in the Initiation Process—Community, Ordained Ministers, Other Ministers

Connections between Liturgy and Catechesis

 

Vision of Initiation Ministry Conference for Pastoral Ministers (2 days)

Introduces the vision and practice of adult initiation for all pastoral ministers in relation to:

Evangelization

Pastoral Formation

Roles in the Initiation Process—Community, All Ministers

Connections between Liturgy and Catechesis