In our bulletin before Easter, there were two lists of people joining the church: candidates and catechumens. What is the difference?
People who come to the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) have various backgrounds. Some come to find out about faith; others are baptized in another Christian denomination and are seeking full communion with us; and still others come already knowing they want to be baptized. Those already baptized, who seek full communion with us, are called candidates. Their formation in faith has already begun and they have knowledge of Jesus, the Gospels, and what it means to be a believer. Those who are not baptized need to be formed in faith and develop a relationship with God. They are called catechumens. We do not want to diminish the importance of faith formation by making the RCIA another study session of the catechism. Other elements of church life are also important: community, spirituality, traditions, Scripture, personal commitment to faith, etc. All of these things are discussed and experienced in the RCIA as part of the initiation into the church community. As such, the whole parish becomes part of that process as we invite and welcome people to join us and our church.