Over long years, the Church of Maitland-Newcastle has been blessed with wonderful people whose passion and commitment to RCIA has sustained it in parishes and on the Diocesan RCIA Team. Many of you would be aware of the Many Parts, One Body, One Mission Diocesan Change Management Program, which seeks to promote greater unity, collaboration and focus for the purpose of mission. One aspect of this program is the restructure of Diocesan boards, councils and teams. In this restructure, the Diocesan RCIA Team has been dissolved. Responsibility for RCIA is now held by the Diocesan Liturgy Council (DLC) and Office. This change mirrors the national Australian Catholic Bishops’ structures. RCIA is one of the Church’s liturgical rites and its home is with liturgy.
For people of faith, change immerses us in the paschal rhythm of dying and rising. I met with the remaining members of the Diocesan RCIA Team a couple of weeks ago. They understand the need for the existing diocesan team to ‘die,’ and to say they are relieved, excited and hopeful about the road ahead would be an understatement. In the near future we will mark the long and committed ministry of this team with a small ritual and a celebratory meal. We have all benefited from the gifts and generosity they have brought to this ministry.
In keeping with the paschal rhythm, there is also something new emerging. The Diocesan Liturgy Council, in consultation with the remaining members of the Diocesan RCIA Team, is establishing a new entity – a Diocesan Liturgy Forum: Christian Initiation (RCIA). This is one of a number of forums the DLC is establishing to widen the circle of people involved in liturgical ministry. Central to this is the imperative to ensure the vitality of all liturgical ministry into the future. Formation is therefore a key component of all forums as is generational change. The word ‘forum’ also says something about the way these groups gather and operate.
So if you have:
- a ‘fire in the belly’ for the ministry of Christian Initiation;
- a passion for the mission of Jesus;
- a heart and spirit for accompanying people and communities in a journey that is focused on knowing Jesus and being changed by that relationship;
- an openness to studying the Rite of Initiation of Adults;
- and a desire to help ‘fan the flame of Christian Initiation in the Church of Maitland-Newcastle’;
then, I invite you to read the mandate for the Diocesan Liturgy Forum: Christian Initiation. If you feel called to this ministry, please complete the Expression of Interest electronically and email it to: email@example.com by Friday August 2, 2019.
We are hoping to be inundated with interest. While only some people will be able to be appointed to the Forum, we will stay in touch with the wider circle of people who express interest and find ways for us all to work together so that the mission of Jesus continues to burn brightly in this Church.
For the time being I continue to be the diocesan point of contact for RCIA: E: firstname.lastname@example.org P: (02) 4979 1135