So last week I started my RCIA classes, having attended two so far. This is a quick, rough sketch of the experience so far. They are very small, last week was me and two other people, this week it climbed to me and three other people. There is supposed to be two other people who are going to miss a few weeks. So the class is a total of six people and the instructor.
I wish the class were larger just for atmosphere. But, considering that it is in the mountains in western North Carolina, six really isn’t that bad!
The teacher is, though rambling at times, quite informative. This is good as I have read quite intensely on the subject for several years now and a more popular, common approach would be hard to sit through.
You are given a block of the Catechism of the Catholic Church to read for the week (last week was a hundred pages!) and then the instructor gives an hour and half talk and about a half hour video. Frankly, I could do without the video. I am rather philosophically minded and am not moved by popular testimony. The presenter in the videos is googly-eyed and goofy so it gives a cultish feel to the presentation. Perhaps it is helpful to the others. Frankly I would prefer going more into hypostasis and other such topics.
I think the Catholicism series by Bishop Barron (and his Pivotal Players) would be better. However, I have seen them already so…
Don’t make it easy! Don’t dumb it down!
These are the resources for the course:
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Didache Bible (Midwest Theological Forum)
Daily Roman Missal (Midwest Theological Forum)
The Catechism of the Council of Trent
The Catholic Catechism: A Contemporary Catechism of the Teachings of the Catholic Church, by (the Venerable) Father John A. Hardon, SJ [highly recommended]
Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church, by H. W. Crocker III [an excellent history]
Except for the Didache Bible I already own all of these resources. Although I have never cracked the Daily Roman Missal.
I use my Verbum program for the CCC reading because all the footnotes and annotations and abundant cross-references are a click or mouse hover away and eliminates the need of books two and three. It also means I don’t need a Bible sitting next to me as there is one in the window next to the window with the text of the CCC. Also available is the full context (the complete works actually) of any references to the Church Fathers.
This will be quite challenging in a few weeks as NaNo (Nation Novel Writing Month) is coming up. I missed last year on account of a busted back. This year I’m all in!