RCIA - Day 1
I finally managed to get a hold of someone at the Cathedral down the street. I asked them when the RCIA classes would start, and they said to come on down at 7p last night. So I did.
The parking lot was crowded, but I made it before the classes start. They have a bilingual gathering before the group splits into English and Spanish classes. (The Cathedral has a very large Spanish-speaking part of their congregation). The class had about 12 or so people who were not baptized, and a few couples where one spouse was getting baptized. There were a few who were going for all three sacraments (baptism, confirmation, eucharist), and a few who only needed confirmation or eucharist.
The teachers are a Deacon and his wife. I got to find out what a Deacon was, and quite a bit about the conversion process. They are going to do a Rite of Acceptance for our class on November 20th, a week from Sunday. That means that I will get a special blessing that will set me aside as a catechumenate, or a person who is in the process of learning about the church.
After I become a catechumenate, I will need to go to mass every Sunday at noon at the Cathedral. I will sit at the front of the chapel with members of my class, and after the homily, I will receive a special blessing, and depart the church with my group. We will then learn about the Word of God that was read in the church earlier.
Next week, during the RCIA meeting, I will receive a sponsor, a special companion during my journey to entering the Catholic church. Kind of like a Godparent or "big sister".
During the process of learning, I will have a few more rites, and if everything goes smoothly, I will be baptized as a Catholic during an Easter vigil.
I really like the RCIA teachers. I like that I have plenty of time to learn and think about this before I commit to baptism. I'm very grateful that my husband is being understanding about my desire to take this spiritual journey. I'm super grateful that I was able to sneak into the class right before the Rite of Acceptance was administered, so I can stay with the class during almost the entire process.
I can still attend St. Jude's chapel on weekdays and 9a Mass if I really felt the need. And once I'm baptized, I can start going there as my "home" church. But I'll definitely need to be going to the Cathedral every Sunday as well. I still want to be able to keep a presence with St. Jude while I'm going through this process, as the energy and spirituality that I feel at St. Jude's is one of the big motivating factors of me wanting to learn about becoming Catholic.