A short section but another that gives insight as to a properly oriented catechumenate and evangelization ministry:
5. The rite of initiation is suited to a spiritual journey of adults that varies according to:
– the many forms of God’s grace,
– the free cooperation of the individuals,
– the action of the Church, and
– the circumstances of time and place.
The bullet points are my own; they are integrated into the paragraph of the text. The points are obvious, I hope, but it seems clear ministers must be prepared to recognized God’s grace, even if it comes in the form of motivations less than pure of faith: the non-baptized partner of an engaged Catholic, or a person urged to church by a questionable (in our eyes) book or resource.
Number three is worth considering. The prime “action of the Church” would be the liturgical year. It is in this context, the whole of the Psachal Mystery is laid out week to week and in the annual observance of Lent and Triduum. The Church always provides for the initiation of catechumens in emergency situations. The Church would not recognize personal schedules or individual desire moving initiation to, say, September, or to a Lenten weekday. That would be tempered, naturally with the emergency situation of the newcomer. That would, in turn, pretty much demand the local church adjust its whole liturgical observance to provide the support, liturgical and spiritual, envisioned by the rite.
We’ll get to the liturgical cycle in the next three posts. For now, any comments, questions?