Tuesday, December 8, 2009

RCIA - I'm in

So far I've been pretty unhappy with our RCIA process.

I went into this process thinking that these were classes, as in any other kind of class that I've ever been to that requires learning. I even thought that since I took a world religion course in college (it was my humanities requirement for the general education portion) that I had a pretty good idea about what I could expect. Alas, this is not the case; let me bring you up to speed:

Anyone who wants to go through the process of becoming Catholic needs a Catholic person to sponsor them, I chose Mike to be my sponsor (this has really been a pledge of his love to me seeing as we're in football season right now and we're required to go to the 10:30 mass every Sunday.) So each Sunday since late October, we've been going to mass at 10:30 and sometimes we are required to attend a RCIA "class" regarding the religion. We've both really been enjoying the mass, but the classes on the other hand...not so much.

The woman who is running and organizing these classes is super unorganized and can't give a straight answer to save her life. Her is an example from this past weekend:

Me: "When and why do people sometimes touch their head, chest and shoulders before or after prayers?"

Mean church lady: "They're just customs that people have been doing for a long time."

Me: "Mmmmmmm kay." [That doesn't really help me, but okay. Moving on.]

Me: "What are the prayers that are routinely said during mass and where can I find them so I can understand what we're supposed to say. And what is the profession of faith and where can I find that at, is it in the Bible?"

Mean church lady: "The prayers aren't always the same so I don't know which ones you're talking about. Cradle Catholics know what's being said because they were raised in the church. The profession of faith isn't in the bible, you can probably find it somewhere else."

Me: "I was just wondering where I could find them so I could participate during mass. Do you know where I could find it at?"

Someone else's sponsor: "You can find the general outline for the prayers and the order of the Sunday mass online. I'll print it out and bring it in for you next time we meet. Would anyone else like a copy?"

Everyone else: raises hand

To be completely fair, this last class was done by a man who is actually a teacher at a local Catholic school for girls and has a Ph. D in religious studies. His lecture was structured and a breath of fresh air compared to everything we've done prior. Mike and I both left the class feeling as though we'd learned more. Again, to be fair, no one else will ask questions (except for another guy in the class who is trying to become Catholic, but he's a teacher at another local Catholic school for boys) so I asked a lot of questions on Sunday and instead of the nice guy answering the mean church lady was cutting him off and giving me these crappy answers that came off as "stop asking stupid questions, if I wanted you to know I would have told you." And a lot of her responses start with "Cradle Catholics this or that," where I'd just prefer her to keep her mouth shut if she doesn't know the answer instead of making something up or telling me that "that's just the way we do it, it's always been done that way." To which I ask, "why?"

Is anyone else becoming Catholic before their wedding? How have you liked the process so far? (Aside from the mean church lady it's been super interesting and lead to some GREAT conversations between Mike and I!)


PartyPlannerGal said...

I'm so sorry about the mean teacher! I'll tell you a secret: even us "Cradle Catholics" don't always know all the words to the prayers - at least I sure don't. Those are horrible answers she has been giving you. I'm glad someone else's sponsor was able to step up to the plate. Good luck with the rest of it!

Born to be Mrs. Beever said...

Wow...that is truly unfortunate. But just a perfect example of how people are in fact, HUMAN and therefore, faulted and flawed. One person, thankfully, (other than Jesus Christ) does not represent the faith or Spirit of a faith. I am so sorry you are having to deal with someone like that. She should instead be thrilled you want so much more info and respond as the other man in class did. :( I love that you are having some great conversation starters from the process though...at least something good is coming from it all :)

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

That mean lady - please don't let her ruin your experience. This is about your journey and your partnership. You're asking great ?s as you should and your experience will be all the more richer because of it.

Bicoastal Bride said...

I’m sorry you’re having a hard time getting direct answers to your questions. I was raised Catholic and still have questions about lots of things, so never feel bad about asking! If there’s anything you’re wondering about that I might be able to help with, definitely let me know. :)

New Mexican Bride said...

POOR YOU! That would be so hard, I can't imagine why she didn't just answer your questions...just say it lady The Lord's Prayer..I mean it's not that hard for her to just spit it out rather than being blatantly rude! I hope it goes better for you...

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