Catholic Diocese of Richmond | Office of Christian Formation | September 2019 RCIA Newsletter
News and Resources for RCIA Team Members
What's in this edition?

Rite of Acceptance - sample lesson (with handouts) to use the week before you celebrate this rite in your parish. Just celebrated the Rite of Acceptance? Then save document and put in your file for next time. And send us your photos!

Link to the new Godparent/Sponsor Attestation Form

RCIA Resources to Consider
Rite of Acceptance into the
Order of Catechumens
From this time on the Church embraces the catechumens as its own with a mother's love and concern. RCIA 47
As seekers of the faith journey toward the Easter Sacraments, the Church recognizes their journey of conversion through the celebration of various rites; the most notable being the Rite of Acceptance and the Rite of Election.

The full title - Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens - provides a hint to the significance of this ritual. Once the unbaptized participate in this rite, they become, "Joined to the Church ... part of the household of Christ" (RCIA 47). They receive a new title, and move from being an Inquirer to a Catechumen and their name is inscribed in the Register of Catechumens , along with the name of their sponsor.

Participation in this rite signifies to the community that the seekers are committed to their decision to join the Catholic Church, and expects, "the beginnings of the spiritual life and the fundamentals of Christian teaching have taken root in the candidates. There must be evidence of ... an initial conversion and intention to change their lives and to enter into a relationship with God in Christ." (RCIA 42)

Wow! That is beautiful and powerful!
  • Does the "RCIA Programs" in your parish help foster that in our Inquirers, so that they are aware of their own conversions as they enter this rite?
  • Does the way your parish celebrates the rite reflect the significance of what is happening in the lives of the Inquirers?
  • Are we challenged as the gathered faithful to reflect on our own journeys of faith and consider to which "fundamentals of Christian teaching ... and intention to change [our] lives" we need to be recommitted?
Perhaps these are questions your RCIA Team could reflect on together.

Below, find a sample plan you could use with your catechumens (and candidates) prior to the celebration of the Rite of Acceptance. Make sure to adapt it to reflect the liturgical celebration that will occur at your parish, and use the dates that are appropriate for your parish calendar. If you use it, I would love your feedback !
Session Plan for Catechumens to Prepare for the Rite of Acceptance
Handout to Accompany
Session Plan
Diocesan Godparent/Sponsor Form
Sacrament Tune-Up Days
Thank you to all who attended the Sacrament Tune-up Days. We had over 125 attend the RCIA sessions which focused on implementation of the new Godparent/Sponsor Attestation Forms, as well as ways to evangelize our parish about the role of Godparents and Sponsors in the Church; and support those who already serve in those roles.

To view the new form, or to access the Godparent/Sponsor Toolkit, click this link:

Missed the training and have questions? Please contact Sheri at 804-622-5113.
Resources to Consider
Welcome to Our Church by FAITH Catholic is a 2-in-1 booklet that talks about the Catholic Faith and flips to be a guide through the Mass. Great for RCIA, as an evangelization tool in the pew, and for formation classes.
A r esource from The Pastoral Center . Use lessons from it for RCIA, AFF, parent meetings, small groups, and youth formation. Content covers doctrine, Scripture and prayers. Available in print or as electronic download.
Have a favorite resource or a new video you love? Share it with others in this newsletter by sending to
Share the Joy of Ministry
Thank you to St. Gerard's, St. Pius X and Our Lady of Nazareth for sharing your initiation photos with us. They are beautiful!

Your parish could be next!

Send me your favorite photos in RCIA ministry: Period of Pre-evangelization, retreats, prayer, service projects, celebration of the Rite of Acceptance, etc.

Attach them to an email and tell us the parish and event. Thanks!
RCIA Questions?
RCIA Process, Formation, Preparation, Children's Initiation, and more - Contact Sheri Kemp, 804-622-5113,

Liturgical Questions? Contact the Office of Worship at 804-622-6235

Marriage or Annulment Questions? Contact the Office of the Tribunal at 804-355-9155