A Rite of Blessing during the Pandemic

How do we pray for our catechumens and candidates during this time of remote, virtual services?  Here is one suggestion adapted from the RCIA: A RITE FOR ONLINE BLESSING OF CATECHUMENS AND CANDIDATES WHEN INITIATION HAS BEEN DELAYED (After the homily or after the Prayers of the People, a presbyter addresses everyone but especially those preparing for initiation.) Instruction PM: … Read More

Discernment and the Adult Catechumenate

It is always a joy when new things emerge that you did not anticipate. One might call these experiences synchronicity, others might refer to them as graced moments. Recently, I was able to experience a week long training for Listening Hearts.The focus of this week is to practically learn how to ‘discern call in community”.This model and process for group … Read More

Awesome Glory–A Good Read before Holy Week

Review by Jerry Pare’, JBL Board Member…. In Awesome Glory Abbot Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B. of Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon has given us a gem for gleaning insights into the theology and liturgy of the Triduum and Eastertide.  Dom Driscoll has written popular books such as What Happens at Mass and scholarly works such as Theology at the Eucharistic Table.  … Read More

A message for your inquirers

By Charles Mantey, JBL Board Member So, you have wondered about the Christian faith and have been asked to come to a gathering to talk about your concerns. It may be at a church or at the coffee shop or maybe even at the local bar. You may wonder what is going to happen there. Will I be put on … Read More

From Affirmation to Transformation: Our Journey

By Terry Martinez, JBL Board Member “Our faith is formed by the practices that shape it.” Our Pastor, the Rev. Dr. Christopher Q. James, was searching for ways to help a congregation recover its baptismal identity – never fully formed due to the diminishment of sacramental practice in the larger Presbyterian/Reform tradition. “I was committed to planning and leading worship … Read More

A Seminarian Reflects on the Catechumenate

By Pam Gompf I have been doing some thinking about my seminary education.  I have enjoyed my classwork and the insights I’ve gained from fellow students and professors.  I hope that my life experience of raising three children and working as a youth minister over a decade will come through in preaching and teaching.  I know the Spirit has been … Read More

Eastertime Lessons & the Christian Life

By Michael Marchal, JBL Board Member A primary link with the ancient world in our catechumenal practice occurs in Cycle A when the three Johannine stories of the Woman at the Well, the Man Born Blind, and the Raising of Lazarus are proclaimed on the middle Sundays in Lent. These stories have been the core of the period of intense … Read More

Team Grows with Creative Faith Timeline

By Lance Georgeson, JBL Board Member Certainly one of the most impactful exercises in early sessions of the catechumenate is the “faith timeline”.  We have consistently found that this fosters a sense of intimacy in the small group and sets the tone for the entire process:  both Candidates and Sponsors begin to see that their stories are connected with God’s … Read More

Bigger always Better?: The Small Church and the Catechumenate

By Larry Ehrens, JBL Board Member and Vice President After facilitating the Catechumenate in a Cathedral parish and several good sized suburban congregations, I was unsure how to go about this same ministry in a smaller setting. My question was: Is the Catechumenate scalable to smaller churches? Our new church plant has a Sunday attendance between 50 and 60 persons. … Read More