In this photo taken before the pandemic, a catechumen listens during the Rite of Election March 10, 2019, in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold. Vic Mistretta photo
In this photo taken before the pandemic, a catechumen listens during the Rite of Election March 10, 2019, in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold. Vic Mistretta photo

Persons who currently serve on Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults teams as well as new members can learn new ways to approach their ministry of preparing newcomers to the Catholic faith during a four-part online training program to be offered in February.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we do RCIA in parishes, and it can be challenging for many of us to accept this change,” said Denise Contino, director of the diocesan Department of Catechesis.

Prior to the pandemic, RCIA training provided by the Diocese has consisted mostly of in-person gatherings at a designated location with presentations given by diocesan personnel as well as qualified, nationally known speakers who are experts in the RCIA field. Since the onset of the pandemic last March, RCIA training for team members has shifted to a virtual platform.

Using the theme, “Leading Seekers to Conversion through RCIA,” the four trainings, to be offered Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., will focus on the following topics: “RCIA Will Never Be the Same Again”; “The Awe-Inspiriting Rites of RCIA and How Do We Do Them Well Even in a Pandemic”; “How Do We View the Parish As The Curriculum?” and “Is RCIA More Than Catechesis, Is It a Field Hospital for Faith?” 

Facilitating the series will be Nick Wagner and Diana Macalintal, founders and co-directors of TeamRCIA.com, a free online resource for catechumenate ministry.

The topics, Contino said, “will expand our knowledge and help us come together as a community in the Diocese of Trenton to grow in our understanding of this process. This training will offer options to teams to be able to think differently and offer their community of seekers a process that will work for them.”

There is no fee to participate in the training, but registration is required. To register, visit dioceseoftrenton.org/rcia-team-training. Videos and material will be emailed to all participants prior to each session.