Here are some experiences and testimonials that last year's RCIA members would like to share with you:
Good morning. My name is Rhonda Marshall and I have been asked to speak to you today about my experience in the RCIA program. Having had no formal religious upbringing, I
began the RCIA process with little knowledge of God or the Catholic Church and even less of an understanding about how they fit into my life. The RCIA coordinator, the team leaders, my sponsor and fellow RCIA
participants, were all instrumental in my journey to be baptized in the Catholic faith at the Easter Vigil. They were always available to me to answer questions and offer guidance and support.
night I learned about Jesus, the bible, the church and CTK. I was introduced to different forms of prayer, meditation and ways of communicating with God. I learned the history of our faith, about the life and teachings
of Jesus and the struggles he endured. I learned about Mass, the gospel, Eucharist and the Sacraments. I learned what it means to be part of a "church community" by attending the crab feed and Parish Festival with my
sponsor and meeting representatives of the various groups and committees that are a part of CTK.
On Sunday mornings I learned new ways to read, interpret , reflect upon and understand the Gospel. Through
group discussions, I learned how to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ to my everyday life. I learned how to look for and recognize the presence of God in my life at all times, not just while in church on
Sunday. I have learned many things in RCIA, the most important is that the journey of faith can begin at any time and it does not end with baptism
, or on Pentecost when our group will hold it's final meeting. It is a life journey.
Ultimately, RCIA has helped me to form a closer and more meaningful relationship with God, my family and my
If you have questions about the Catholic faith or if you are interested in becoming a sponsor, I strongly encourage you to participate in the RCIA program. Thank you.
Good morning! My name is Wes Demory. I recently completed RCIA which is the "Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults", I've been asked to speak for a few minutes this morning about my experience during RCIA.
I grew up attending church regularly, but when I went to college I stopped attending church for the most part, because there always seemed to
be something else to do. I decided several years ago to become a member of the Catholic church and started RCIA. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to complete the program because I was in the Navy and the Navy decided
I needed to be at sea. I started RCIA again when I got out of the Navy, but again wasn't able to complete it because my company transferred me to this area. Fortunately, as they say the third time is the
charm and I was able to finish RCIA this spring.
During the course of the RCIA, I learned about the Catholic church, the gospel & Eucharist, various ways to meditate and pray and how these things apply in my daily
life. Because we were discussing things that I generally just took for granted, I had to stop and think about how I really felt about things so that I could explain it (at least to myself). I don't generally
feel comfortable discussing things of a personal nature, but I found that by listening to other people talk about their feeling and beliefs about things that it really helped me to define my own thoughts which were
somewhat jumbled. As I got to know the other people I became more willing to speak my own thoughts which helped me to define them even more clearly for myself.
I had originally planned to become a member
of the Catholic church for my family, but during this process I found that it was really for myself and has made me aware on a daily basis of my deepening spirituality. For anyone who is considering becoming a
member of the Catholic church or wants to clarify their beliefs, I would strongly recommend looking into the RCIA.
==================================================================== Hi. I'm Marianne Dundon. I have been asked to talk to you
about my RCIA experience. With all the graduations going on from 8th grade and high school, I feel like I've been given the privilege of
acting as one of the valedictorians of the R C I A class of 2000. If you only knew me, you'd realize that this must be one amazing program to get me up here in front of all of you to tell
you what a wonderful experience it has been.
I am one of 25 RCIA graduates – we began last fall as an audience of 30 or so strangers listening to Father Brian talk about the History of the Catholic Church
and the significance of the Bible. We ended as 25 friends holding hands during prayer each Sunday and feeling proud as can be as we watched each other being baptized and confirmed at Easter Vigil.
team leaders each brought a warmth and coziness to our Thursday night meetings. People reaching out to you without any pressure on you
to perform in any way. It did not take long to discover that each and every one of us has a unique perspective and relationship with Jesus. We learn by sharing our thoughts and feelings about scripture and everyday spirituality. Surprisingly, that was an aspect of R C I A which I appreciated most. I am not a "sharer" by nature. And, at first I was uncomfortable discussing what I believe with others. But, sharing and hearing different perspectives on the weekly gospel readings helped me to expand my vision of Jesus and his role in my life.
Another highlight to RCIA for me was coming home to discuss that night's topic with my cradle Catholic husband and astounding him with things he did not know about his
Church whether it be on Catholic history or the sacraments. I know my husband gained a lot from my RCIA experience.
For me, the road to RCIA seemed inevitable. I really made the decision to become a
Catholic six years ago when my oldest son was baptized. I realized then that I would be converting and thought perhaps he and I would receive First Holy Communion together. As it turned out, my
spiritual timetable was moved up. At Easter last year, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to start RCIA in the fall.
This has been my year.
Through the RCIA process I have developed a spirituality I did not believe
I was capable of possessing. We explored guided meditations, and other various prayer methods. My very favorite experience was the Labyrinth. That was the night I really knew that there was only one path for me, no turn was a wrong turn, and that all the people you meet are on their own path and it's okay if your paths collide.
I am looking forward to being a sponsor next year. My own sponsor this year was a graduate of RCIA in '99. She became a sponsor for the reason I intend to become one next year. Through RCIA I have learned that
our faith is ever changing and growing and we have so much to learn from one another that each encounter with someone else's faith journey adds something to our own. Being there to help someone else on his
or her journey is, I am told, an incredibly rewarding experience. I believe this to be true.
So, for those of you who think you might be interested in becoming a Catholic, or a sponsor, I
strongly encourage you to attend the introductory RCIA meetings. Come learn about yourself, God and the Catholic Church.
My name is Rosemarie
Bayham and today is my last day as a member of the RCIA program here at Christ the King.
My early religious experiences were patchy at best and consisted
of weddings and funerals with an occasional Sunday service at varying churches. So it's no surprise that religion was somewhat perplexing to me. In fact, as I got older and would occasionally attend church I
would feel quite uncomfortable and conspicuous because I would more often than not, end up in tears for reasons which were a mystery to me. I would sit there thinking "Something is seriously wrong
with me! Why do I keep doing this to myself?" What I didn't recognize at the time, was that something wasn't wrong, rather something was missing and I was being tugged toward the church.
Many years, a catholic husband and two children later I found myself on the telephone with someone here at CTK. I was inquiring about the RCIA program.
I attended the first meeting and decided then and there
that I would definitely "finish this class". My approach was not unlike a new college student prepared to plow through those first freshman classes. I assumed the process would be interesting
and informative but probably not transforming. I definitely got much more than I bargained for.
I came to the program as a spiritual "infant" whose baby-sitters have been the RCIA Team; which
consists of a very dedicated group of volunteers led by a wonderfully, engaging and sincere woman named Marie Egolf. Her faith has been an inspiration to me. My sponsor, who I had never met before this
program began was always interested and available without being pushy or overbearing. She has continued to be the perfect combination of a part time sister, spiritual guide and mother, and I now proudly consider
her a full-time friend; My husband, a cradle catholic who was kind enough to answer those "stupid questions" I was too embarrassed to ask anyone else; Father Brian, Paul and the rest of the staff who
always provide something new to reflect on and the parishioners who through it all have made me feel very welcomed and supported.
I thought I came to this program, for my family....my children, my marriage, but what I
discovered along the way was that RCIA was God's gift to ME. I know that my family will benefit from my involvement here, but this program was without a doubt mine. My friends and family don't
look at me and see a transformed person, but I feel transformed. And that's the beginning, isn't it? The best gift of all, though, is that I now see that when I feel joy it's no coincidence...it's divine. I also
understand that even my most difficult times of frustration or sorrow are gifts too. Gifts which I can learn from and ultimately be grateful for.
This new perspective is perhaps the greatest gift I have ever
received. I am leaving the program today, yet continue my journey because I see that my spirituality is, and always will be, a work in progress.
I am proud to say that I think I have finally passed the stage of
spiritual infancy. The big question, though is.... Do I still cry in church? If you have ever sat near me in mass you probably know the answer is "yes". But rest assured that nothing is
wrong.....I am moved by the most powerful sense of God's presence here at Mass. The tugging I once felt has become a gentle push forward......
Thanks to you.
Please allow me to introduce
myself. I am Mark Bucklew. I am here today to tell you what the RCIA process has meant to me this past year. I was able to examine my life's journey and how it has related to Jesus Christ.
Last fall, I made a decision to become a member of the Catholic Faith and attend the RCIA process. I met a group of approximately 30 people with varying ages and background, and just as many reasons for coming to
the first meeting.
I expected to learn about the time lines of religion and how the Catholic church has evolved with it's traditions and changes. Both Father Joyce and the many other speakers
coordinated by Marie Egolf, the RCIA coordinator, did an excellent job.
But what happened to me personally was a surprise. My relationship with my family changed, and I found myself less judgmental
and much calmer. I developed a lifetime relationship with two members of our Parish who became my sponsors. Many sponsors found a renewed faith by being involved with the RCIA process. It's a wonderful
way to minister within our community.
As the year moved on toward Easter Vigil, I found my relationship with Jesus growing stronger and stronger. I spoke of him often during the day at work and in the
evening with my wife.
Perhaps you can recall the Footprints in the Sand
picture with the 2 sets of footprints walking side by side near the edge of the ocean, and there is only 1 set of footprints alone. The person in the picture asks God, "Why did he leave him when times of
adversity and trouble arose?" God answered, "No, that was when I was carrying you."
Well, I have been carried many times by God and now I look for opportunities to carry him by
spreading his word. I look for acts of kindness that I can do during the week, and then we would share then at the Thursday night RCIA meetings.
On Sunday, we would exit the 10:45 mass, and study the
gospel and how it ties in with everyday living. When we receive the Eucharist, we become the body of Christ and go to live out the Word of God throughout our community. We become his disciples and now on
Pentecost Sunday, our Diocese spreads the word in many different languages like the disciples were given the ability to speak in many tongues.
I've been a parishioner with my family here at CTK for 14
years. My 3 children attended CTK school and we had some great years. RCIA has been the main contributor to the best year of my life. My mother and father-in-law are in heaven today. I bet they
are doing the Irish jig knowing I am now a Catholic. My wife and I want to thank you for your prayers and your support for us and all the members of the RCIA members 2000.