Are we preparing people for Baptism and Confirmation during the Coronavirus pandemic?
Yes we are and it’s not too late to join.

The pandemic has caused so many problems in our nation and around the world.  Hundreds of thousands of people have died.  Many more are mourning the loss of their loved ones.  People are out of work.  Kids and young adults are out of school.  People are distanced from people they love.  Life is not easy right now.

The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic is part of our life’s journey whether we like it or not.

But God is not taking the pandemic off.
God is not quarantining far away
God is not keeping socially distant from us.
God is always with us, even in a pandemic, and God might even use this difficult time to call us to something new.

How do we prepare adults for Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion?

God calls people all the time, even in a pandemic.  When God calls people to the Church, it is the Church’s responsibility to welcome them and prepare them to be disciples of Jesus.  The main way we do this, is through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.  You will often see this referred to simply as the “RCIA.”

Why do people ask about our RCIA program?   

People give all different reasons for exploring Catholicism.  Some people come to the Church because they fall in love with someone Catholic and they are interested in exploring their partner’s faith.  Some people come from a nominally Catholic family but were raised by their parents to have no religious affiliation and they are looking to reconnect with a lost family tradition.  Some people move to the US from a country where religious practices are surpressed and they want to learn about spirituality.  People give all kinds of reasons for expressing interest.

But why do people decide to convert to Catholicism?

This is a different question than why people call or email about a program.  People actually decide to convert because they feel closer to God in the Church.  That is it.  That is why they join and why they stay.

What is it that makes them feel closer to God here?  The anwer to that is probably the same given 2000 years ago in the Acts of the Apostles:

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.
(Acts 2: 42)

They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles – in other words to the Gospel.  They learned about Jesus and Jesus’ teachings directly from the people who knew him, who listened to him and who ate with him, the people who were there when Jesus died.  They heard the witness of the people who first experienced Jesus’ resurrection.  They felt close to God in the message.

They devoted themselves to the communal life – in other words they joined the community of people who gather to live out Jesus’ commandment to love one another.  Community is an integral part of the Catholic experience of spirituality.  During this pandemic we were all given a painful reminder of how important community is to all of us when we were been forced to socially distance ourselves to stop the spread of the virus.  Ancient Christians felt closer to God in the community.

To the breaking of bread – this is an ancient reference to the ritual celebrations of the church (what we call the “sacraments”) and specifically to the Eucharist.  In other words, they felt closer to God in the Church’s rituals.

…and to the prayers.  So many people who ask about the RCIA express that they do not know how to talk to God.  In other words, they don’t know how to pray.  That is OK.  It’s part of what we teach.  Ancient Christians felt closer to God in their personal prayer life and in the communal prayers of the Church.

These reasons reaons for becoming Catholic, which were given by the first generation of Christians, are the same reasons given today by people who convert.

Are you interested in exploring Catholicism or completing your Confirmation?

    • If you or someone you know is not Catholic but is interested in learning about our believes and practices, feel free to contact us.  There is no pressure whatsoever to join.  You are welcome to ask questions, learn, investigate and then choose to either stay or go.
    • If you are already Christian but raised in another Christian community and are interested in possibly becoming Catholic, call us.
    • If you are an adult Catholic who never received Confirmation or First Communion and are thinking about completing your sacraments, we can prepare you for that.

If any of these apply to you, feel free to contact us.

How will the Program work in 2020 with the pandemic?

First: we will absolutely have our program this year. It is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA for short).  We will work as best we can to keep people safe.  We will observe all recommendations from the medical and scientific communities.

Right now, we are planning on holding our classes in person, with appropriate social distancing and safety measures in place.   If the recommendations change and we can not to hold the classes in person, we will hold them on zoom.

What is the Schedule?

Our RCIA will begin Tuesday, September 15th.  We meet every Tuesday from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM 

The RCIA at St. Francis of Assisi is free of charge.

If you would like to find out more about our Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, please contact:

Joseph Nuzzi

Director of Evangelization
212-736-8500 x365