I am now six weeks into my RCIA classes and I have learned so much about Catholicism, more so than when I was doing my undergrad in religious studies. But that’s what happens where you are expected to know the fundamentals of the world’s major religions from the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) to the Eastern faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Toaism, and the teachings of Confucius. As for Christianity, that was not touched on as much as I would’ve liked and Catholic theology was not explored in depth. In so many ways I am loving RCIA!
So, RCIA is the “Is the Right of Christian Initiation of Adults” for the Catholic Church. So, pretty much catechism for the Episcopalians, any one part of the Anglican Communion and Eastern Orthodox. In the Catholic Church catechism is both a series of classes lasting six months but is also the official document of the Catholic Church’s teachings. Catechism is also the process of one who is preparing for baptism, like me. In short catechism is the process of religious education concerning the beliefs and practices of the Church one must know before being baptized and received. In the case of the Catholic Church and Anglican Communion catechism consists of the teachings of the catechumen, church document concerning the beliefs and practices of the Church, by a person who has been authorized (blessed) to teach catechism.
When a person decides to be received into the Catholic they will either go to the closest Catholic church to where they live or they will go to a Catholic with a liturgy and community that they like. I choose to do RCIA with the Catholic Student Association at my alma mater, American University, because I was already familiar with community. My RCIA class is a weekly class that consists of other American University students or graduates, like myself, and is being taught by a Dominican Brother from the Dominican House of Study here in Washington, D.C. The first three classes explored the theology of the Holy Trinity and the different natures of the components of the Holy Trinity. This is very difficult theology that was not taught to me as an undergrad and I struggled with it. After learning about the Holy Trinity the class moved on to learning about prayer, the infallibility of the Pope and Catholic Church. After the first three classes the learning material became much easier to learn and understand. Next class we will be learning about the Mass or the worship services of the Catholic Church.
Today I will be meeting Br. Antoninus at the Dominican House of Study to talk about how I came to the Catholic. I am looking forward to this meeting and sharing my story.