‘Wait for RCIA’ becoming a thing of the past
Sept. 5, 2018 by Agnieszka Krawczynski
A faith study program that has been around for decades has suddenly received new life.
Discovery, developed by missionary organization Catholic Christian Outreach about 30 years ago, has exploded in the Archdiocese of Vancouver in the last year.
“It’s been really successful,” said Amber Zolc, a coordinator for the archdiocese’s Ministries and Outreach office.
Since the summer of 2017, more than 500 local people have studied the program booklets, run 100 faith study groups, and trained new leaders.
Zolc, who “launched” the program with a promotional campaign last fall, was surprised. She had hoped to reach six parishes, but soon found 14 were getting involved.
“The small group faith study provides fellowship and a place where it’s safe, comfortable, and normal to engage in dialogue about spirituality and our relationships with Jesus,” she said. “There are not a lot of places in our church today where that happens naturally.”
The program spread faster than Zolc predicted. Catholics who joined a faith study at one of the six pilot parishes were bringing the ideas home and starting new groups in their own churches and communities.
“In some ways, it can seem a bit old school in that it’s not video-based,” but, she said, that may actually be contributing to the spike in interest.
Another factor Zolc credits for the sudden take-off is the simplicity of the program.
“I think pastors are looking for programs that will help form their people as disciples of Jesus, and this is one program that is relatively easy to get started and to run.”