By Anthony Paz, Staff Commentary
If you haven't been fully initiated into the Catholic Church, I'm inviting you to consider it. Three Sacraments mark entrance into the Church and they are truly beautiful: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. Water, oil, candles, robes, bread, wine, family, friends: the experience of initiation into the Church is sensual in the best sense of the word. Catholics don't simply profess their belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; we feel it in our bones. We consent to being taken into something ancient and mysterious and we do so with the help of others at every step of the way. We mold and shape our minds, bodies and hearts all at once. And, as adults, we thoroughly prepare for the life-altering experiences of the Sacraments.
For non-Catholics, we offer an amazing year-long process known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Whether you're unbaptized or have been part of another Christian tradition, you can have a group of students and staff accompany you on a journey to receive the Sacraments at Easter. Through a combination of doctrine and spiritual experience, the RCIA consistently transforms people into women and men on fire for God. Over the course of the year, members of the RCIA will dive into Scripture at Mass, learn about central Catholic Doctrines from theologians and students, and find themselves being directly mentored by a community of faithful men and women. RCIA will meet each Sunday afternoon and culminate with reception into the Church on Easter.
For those who are already Catholic, but have not completed their initiation with the Sacrament of Confirmation, we offer a program just for you. Over the course of the school year, you will meet a handful of times together. The Adult Confirmation program is designed to refresh and strengthen a faith that is already present. You will find that, as an unconfirmed Catholic, you are not alone, and that God calls you closer to Him at this place and time. You will join a community to walk with you. You will learn what it means to call yourself a Christian man or woman in a difficult world. In turn, it will open the doors of Marriage and Ordination to you. Confirmation will be celebrated in its fullness by the Archbishop in April.
Through Sacramental Prep at UP, learning to be a Christian is not just a matter of intellectual assent. Instead, it is a process of becoming the person God created you to be. This process involves participation of the whole person in concert with the whole community. If you are at all interested in receiving any Sacrament in the future please get in touch with us as soon as possible - no final commitment necessary to ask. It's not too late to join either group this year!
For RCIA, e-mail Anthony Paz, firstname.lastname@example.org. For Confirmation, e-mail Dcn. Mark DeMott, CSC, email@example.com.
Anothony Paz is the Assistant Director for Faith Formation for Campus Ministry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.