By Jeanne Howard
MADISON – “In a culture where ‘bigger is better’ is a way of life, the notion of ‘small is beautiful’ may appear quaint,” begins Msgr. Michael Clay in his book “A Harvest for God.” Father Clay will lead a workshop on the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) for the Diocese of Jackson in June.
Msgr. Clay continues with an explanation that rural, small town and Southern culture would beg to differ. In our culture people really want to know how you feel and will take time to listen, relationships are central. We don’t befriend someone for utilitarian purposes, but rather because we care deeply about others and life. A sense of belonging is essential to our way of life.
The RCIA is concerned with these same values: relationships with God and his people as well as a sense of belonging. Initiation catechesis should then be relational and conversational, embracing the candidate into a community of faith. This approach is more than religious education, the model most catechists rely on as they accompany these adults on their journey of faith.
Msgr. Clay, a priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, will present his workshop on Saturday, June 28, from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Madison St. Francis of Assisi Parish. This workshop will explore what this initiatory model of formation looks like so that catechists may be better equipped in the formation of future Catholics.
The cost is $25 per person or $20 per person for three or more attending from same parish. To register, contact Fabvienen Taylor, 601-960-8470, Fabvienen.firstname.lastname@example.org.