I had set every clock in the house to remind me of my appointment with Father Ron. Arriving fifteen minutes early, waiting in the church office, I wondered about the very real possibility of being Catholic before Christmas.
In short order, Fr. Ron appeared at the hall entrance and led me back into a comfortable meeting room with windows looking out to a garden atrium. Settled into chairs, and following his lead, I gave a five minute synopsis of my coming to faith and then coming to the door of the Catholic Church by following the lead of other Catholics on EWTN and attending mass this past year in my own parish. “I called my parish, and I asked if there was any other way to enter the church before next Easter. They said that their RCIA program was the only option.”
“My husband has finally come to peace with my decision to become Catholic. He won’t join me, and I don’t expect that he ever will. Now, looking ahead, I am willing to learn, to grow, to study. It’s not that I want to skip RCIA. But I can’t wait twelve months to be baptized.”
At the mention of baptism, Fr. Ron’s attention focused more intently on me. “RCIA is not a one-size-fits-all program. There are other options available. We can personalize the program for people. Tell me about your baptism.” So I did.
“RCIA is not for everyone,” he reassured me. “We can take time to talk and set out a reading plan. Then we can get together to discuss your reading and understanding.” At that moment, a young man came into the room. Fr. Ron looked up. “Let me introduce you to Jason. He is the director of our RCIA program, and I invited him to be a part of this.”
We all did the hi-hello-good-to-meet-you civilities…and returned to the conversation Fr. Ron and I were having…that is, sort of returned to it. Jason was full of youthful enthusiasm and shared his plans for the coming RCIA program. He told me he would make certain I got a free copy of the book they were using for RCIA. Fr. Ron finished the meeting, “You can start working with Jason and then keep in touch with me.”
Following Fr. Ron through the hallways and back out to the lobby, I stepped outside of the office into the parking lot…instantly blinded by the afternoon sun. I had the unsettled feeling that something significant had transpired but that I had no idea what that significant something might be.
Instead of a program of study, another appointment with Fr. Ron and a target date for getting baptized…I had…well?
Putting the keys in the ignition, I calculated that the book from Jason should arrive by Friday.
*All names have been changed.
NEXT: RCIA v.2
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