Frustration over RCIA (please help a convert)
#11
(06-13-2014, 01:13 PM)kellsangel85 Wrote: My question is, where are catechumens supposed to learn about the faith, if not RCIA? And is there any "way around it" by studying on one's own? How was it done in the old days? Would catechumens be instructed one-on-one with a priest, and is that still a viable option?

The RCIA is a joke. The current situation filters out anyone who does not have the intellectual independence to do their own research on the Church. The only religions that are growing are the cultists who aggressively evangelize like the Mormons and JWs.
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#12
I'm not going to add anything new, other than my experience.

I was confirmed at Pentecost last year and I had to through the diocesan confirmation formation in order to be confirmed. I had heard that it was abysmal. And it proved to be so. We had 3 day long meetings (on Sunday, including Mass) before confirmation, and 1 meeting after confirmation (to learn about confession... don't ask). I only ended up going to 2 meetings before confirmation due to work and I figured I knew enough about confession so I didn't go to that meeting. They didn't actually teach heresy, but some of the omissions were awfully glaring (no mention of the Church's position on contraception, abortion, euthanasia, divorce and remarriage, gay marriage - only that we are called to love every one). The only thing that was very badly taught (well frankly heretical) was the Eucharist - Jesus is present in the Eucharist after the Consecration exactly as He is present when 2-3 are gathered in His Name to pray.... I took issue with the way it was taught and made the Church's teaching known.

I attend Mass at an FSSP parish and so my priest gave me additional formation, about the equivalent of 10 hours, straight out of the catechism. It was very, very good. He explained what I didn't understand, passed briefly over what I did know, and answered all of my questions. Obviously it's only scratching the surface and the leaning the faith is a lifelong deal.

If I had to do it over again, I would in a heartbeat, because I'm finally confirmed!!! My life really is different.
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#13
(06-13-2014, 01:13 PM)kellsangel85 Wrote: My question is, where are catechumens supposed to learn about the faith, if not RCIA? And is there any "way around it" by studying on one's own? How was it done in the old days? Would catechumens be instructed one-on-one with a priest, and is that still a viable option?

I know someone who became Catholic simply after taking private lessons with an old, conservative Redemptorist priest at St. Peter's here in Philadelphia.  This person was a member of Courage and had been Episcopalian.  This was back in 2005.  He never went through RCIA.

My advice, barring that kind of arrangement (which I do think is ideal), is that your friend understand and accept that RCIA is often a farce and that he is one of the many unlucky ones.  He should simply go through the motions while studying privately on his own.  I'm sure you'll receive all the usual recommendations (Catechism of the Council of Trent, Baltimore Catechism, etc.), and these are all fine, but I really think the very best option for him would be Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, by Archbishop Michael Sheehan, published by Baronius Press.  I would advise that he study Baltimore Catechism No. 4 for its clarity and concision and that he also refer to the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to understand how the Novus Ordo establishment communicates the faith.

He should also have a traditional Catholic mentor who is knowledgeable about the Faith, emotionally mature and relatively advanced in prayer.  That person should be available to him to answer questions, give advice and support him.

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#14
It's called "sucking it up" and doing what ya gotta do to be a Catholic :P

Catholics groan about "suffering being good for the soul" take the atrocious RCIA as "suffering" and offer it up to Christ. Seriously....bad RCIA classes are great to prep you for the life ahead of being a practicing Catholic in today's world.
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#15
(06-13-2014, 01:13 PM)kellsangel85 Wrote: My question is, where are catechumens supposed to learn about the faith, if not RCIA? And is there any "way around it" by studying on one's own? How was it done in the old days? Would catechumens be instructed one-on-one with a priest, and is that still a viable option?
If you can't find a good, traditional priest to be your catechist, find someone trained in Fr. Hardon, SJ's orthodox Marian Catechist apostalate, which Cdl. Burke now leads. Call them and ask them who the Marian catechists are in your area.
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#16
(06-13-2014, 01:13 PM)kellsangel85 Wrote: Would catechumens be instructed one-on-one with a priest, and is that still a viable option?

Yes, this is how traditional parishes instruct folks.
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#17
(06-14-2014, 11:12 AM)austenbosten Wrote: It's called "sucking it up" and doing what ya gotta do to be a Catholic :P

Catholics groan about "suffering being good for the soul" take the atrocious RCIA as "suffering" and offer it up to Christ. Seriously....bad RCIA classes are great to prep you for the life ahead of being a practicing Catholic in today's world.
Exactly right!  And remember, RCIA is spiritual milk rather than solid food, it is structured to be a suitable introduction for those with zero Christian formation, and a review of the fundamentals for others.  Generally the parish should offer further classes and training at more advanced levels throughout the year.  During my RCIA, i was disappointed at first, but soon realized the wisdom of their approach.  When we were asked to read a portion of scripture out loud, many people hadn't the foggiest notion of how to look it up.  A woman who was sitting behind me read the commentary rather than the scripture. 

Also, in today's world, heretical priests and teachers are no excuse for poor formation.  Compared with former generations, we have nearly effortless access to translated documents of every council, every papal bull and encyclical, catechisms, church doctors, saints,  apparitions, and so on.  For most of us, RCIA class will be no excuse at our judgements. 
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#18
(06-15-2014, 03:20 PM)Landless Laborer Wrote:
(06-14-2014, 11:12 AM)austenbosten Wrote: It's called "sucking it up" and doing what ya gotta do to be a Catholic :P

Catholics groan about "suffering being good for the soul" take the atrocious RCIA as "suffering" and offer it up to Christ. Seriously....bad RCIA classes are great to prep you for the life ahead of being a practicing Catholic in today's world.
Exactly right!  And remember, RCIA is spiritual milk rather than solid food, it is structured to be a suitable introduction for those with zero Christian formation, and a review of the fundamentals for others.  Generally the parish should offer further classes and training at more advanced levels throughout the year.  During my RCIA, i was disappointed at first, but soon realized the wisdom of their approach.  When we were asked to read a portion of scripture out loud, many people hadn't the foggiest notion of how to look it up.  A woman who was sitting behind me read the commentary rather than the scripture.   

Also, in today's world, heretical priests and teachers are no excuse for poor formation.  Compared with former generations, we have nearly effortless access to translated documents of every council, every papal bull and encyclical, catechisms, church doctors, saints,  apparitions, and so on.   For most of us, RCIA class will be no excuse at our judgements. 

This is so true! We seem to constantly forget that RCIA has to cater to catechizing people with:

0 understanding of Jesus Christ
0 concept of the Trinity
0 time spent reading the Bible

yada yada yada
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#19
Have him watch this:



If he is that bright, it will be enough.  That, along with 3 Hail Marys in the morning and afternoon.  He'll be we'll on his way as long as he is not prone to sloth.
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#20
If you have access to an Traditional Catholic chapel or parish, FSSP,,SSPX, or Sedevacantist they usually don't follow the RCIA process, and you can  study one on one with a priest, using a pre Vatican 2 catechism ,so having to worry about RCIA program becomes an moot point. Just find a good Traditional priest and tell him you would like to become a Catholic.
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