Lay Formation and Certification
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RCIA Catechist Certification

RCIA Catechist Certification is designed for all who have any catechetical role in the RCIA process. It consists of being certified as an Advanced Catechist as well as the completion of nine RCIA Topics:

1. Overview of the RCIA

“The Catechumenate is not a mere expounding of doctrines and precepts, but a Training Period in the whole Christian life, and an apprenticeship, duly drawn out, during which disciples are joined to Christ – their teacher.” This is the vision of the RCIA given to us in Ad Gentes, #14.  In this session participants will be introduced to all the periods and steps of the RCIA.

2. Pre-Catechumenate

The initiation process begins with the Pre-catechumenate period, also known as the period of inquiry. Persons seeking something more in their lives come with questions and pre-suppositions to explore our communities. Participants will be introduced to the concepts of community involvement in the process of initiation and discernment, a listening with ears of faith for the movement of the Spirit in the lives of those who come to us.

3. Catechumenate Session A

The Catechumenate is an extended period during which the catechumens are given suitable and complete pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at training them in the Christian life. In this session participants will experience a Liturgy of the Word, a dismissal from the community, a dismissal session of reflection on the Word and a formal catechetical session followed by discussion and questions and answers.

4. Catechumenate Session B

The period of the Catechumenate, lasting at least one year, has many tasks which provide catechumens with suitable pastoral formation and guidance, aimed at training them in the Christian life. Among these are suitable catechesis, providing celebrations of the word and other liturgical rites to enable their prayer life to mature, challenging them to practice love of neighbor, even at the cost of self-renunciation, and teaching them to work actively with others to spread the Gospel. In this session, participants will explore the liturgical rites during the Catechumenate and how to apprentice catechumens into discipleship and mission.

5. Purification and Enlightenment

The period of Purification and Enlightenment usually coincides with the season of Lent. For both the elect and the parish community, Lent is a time of spiritual reflection in preparation for the celebration of the Paschal Mystery. The focus for the elect is interior reflection intended to purify the minds and hearts of the elect as they search their own consciences and do penance. In this session, participants will learn how to make the whole of Lent an experience of retreat preparing the elect for initiation and the community for their reconciliation in preparation for the Easter Vigil.

6. Mystagogy

The RCIA describes Mystagogy “as a time for the community and the neophytes together to grow in deepening their grasp of the paschal mystery and making it a part of their lives through meditation on the Gospel, sharing in the Eucharist, and doing the works of charity” (#244). In this session participants will explore the meaning and importance of Mystagogy and of the scriptures of the Easter Season that gradually invite neophytes to appreciate the sacraments they have received and strengthen them as they begin to walk as new members of the parish community.

7. Presiding at Minor Rites of the RCIA

The Church, like a mother, helps the catechumens on their journey of faith by means of suitable liturgical rites, which purify the catechumens and strengthen them with God’s blessing. In the Archdiocese of Detroit the Archbishop gives certified catechists, who request it, delegation to lead the celebration of the Minor Rites…Blessings and Exorcisms…during the catechumenate period. Participants will learn how to preside at these rites.

8. Parish as Initiating Community

The initiation of adults is the responsibility of all the baptized. Throughout the initiation process, the entire community must help those who are searching for Christ. Participants will explore each of the periods of the RCIA and the opportunities that are offered for the ministry of the community.

9. Canon Law for RCIA Teams

It is important for all who work with the RCIA to have a clear understanding of certain areas of Canon Law. These laws seek to promote unity, order, and the common good. Participants will explore those laws which affect the privileges and duties of catechumens and candidates.

For information on Deputation to preside at minor rites and exorcisms, contact the Office for Christian Worship:

Christian Worship
12 State Street
Detroit, MI 48226-1823
ph. 313-237-4697


 RCIA Catechist Reporting Form
Use this form to track topics being taken. When complete, the RCIA Coordinator at your parish will sign off on it and send it to the Office of Ministerial Certification.