Ministers Look ‘Through the Doorway’ at RCIA Workshop

The day-long workshop called “Through the Doorway” was a chance to go “back to basics,” Todd Williamson said.

Williamson, director of the Chicago archdiocesan Office for Divine Worship, and Victoria Tufano, senior editor and liturgical consultant at Liturgy Training Publications, tag-teamed presentations throughout the day.

The more than 50 people who came from the Diocese of Belleville and surrounding dioceses heard presentations about the church’s vision of initiation on the theological, sacramental, catechetical and evangelical levels.

“We understand the world as a journey with Christ,” Williamson said. “We are initiating (catechumens and candidates) into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and how that is lived out in the Catholic Church.”

The sacraments of initiation give people the right to participate “around the table” of the altar in the Eucharist.

Because each person comes to his or her readiness to be welcomed into the Catholic Church at different times, the Christian initiation is viewed as a process, not a class that concludes at some preassigned time.

“Initiation is a gradual process; it takes time,” Williamson said. “And there’s no set time.”

Williamson encouraged catechists directors of faith formation and clergy attending the workshop to invite and include catechumens and candidates in the life of the parish through participation in parish activities.

Parishioners can get to know those who have expressed a desire to join them in the Eucharist so they can be welcomed in a variety of ways before their baptisms or welcomed into full communion.

Holy Saturday vigils are not the “end” of their journey, but the vigils mark the “end of their preparation and the beginning of their journeys to gather on the Lord’s day around the altar,” Williamson added.

For more information about programs being offered through the diocese, please visit the website for the diocesan Office of Worship: