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Discernment with the Baptized Elements in Christian Initiation.

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Presentation on theme: "Discernment with the Baptized Elements in Christian Initiation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Discernment with the Baptized Elements in Christian Initiation

2 From Prayer to Presentation Overview Framework Review and Definitions Discernment areas specific to the Baptized Lenses for discernment with the Baptized Modeling initial discernment LUNCH

3 The FRAME Part One of the Ritual Text 1. WHAT: Conversion 2. OUTCOME: Discipleship 3. HIGH POINT: Eucharist 4. WHO: The work of the entire community 5. WITH THE HELP OF: Sponsors and Godparents

4 The FRAME Continuing…Part One tells us HOW WE DO THIS: 1. Liturgically/ritually 2. With no calendar 3. By individualizing the catechesis 4. By attending to the ritual text because it has the ecclesial authority of Canon Law

5 Just to Review From the Latin: discernere “Sifting through, separating apart”

6 Always remember Discernment is a continuous interaction with God… A PRAYER

7 Facets of the Diamond called Discernment  Listening to God  Learning how to remain in Christ  Recognizing God’s voice here and now  Perceiving something concealed  Outward signs of inner conversion

8 Signs of Conversion from Part 1 Paragraph 42 (these are brought to maturity throughout the catechumenate) ◦ A spiritual life ◦ Fundamentals of Christian teaching ◦ A relationship with God in Christ ◦ Conversion to Christ’s ways ◦ Spirit of repentance

9 Signs of Conversion Paragraph 42 ◦ Prayer ◦ A relationship with the Roman Catholic Church ◦ A connection to the local parish and a relationship with other parishioners ◦ Understand rituals

10 WHO Discerns Paragraphs 121 and 122 ◦ Bishops, priest and deacons ◦ Catechists (those involved in their formation) ◦ Godparents (and sponsors) ◦ Local community as it matches the amount of contact they have had with the catechumens ◦ Catechumens themselves

11 WORKING WITH THE ALREADY BAPTIZED Within the framework of Part One, which concerns discernment for readiness to move through the process, there are other areas of discernment in…

12 UncatechizedCatechized Parallel the process of a catechumen Has individualized process based on: 1.Extent of evangelization 2.Extent of Christian catechesis 1.Need to unlearn 3.Extent already appropriated Catholic way of life 1.Need to correct or unlearn There are two kinds of baptized:


14 THEOLOGY OF BAPTISM The first Lens through which discernment with a candidate takes place is what Catholics understand baptism does. Baptism changes us, permanently…

15 Baptism Changes Our Identity Into God’s beloved holy, chosen people, free from sin Into members of a covenant, never to be broken

16 Baptism Changes our Social Identity So that it now includes:  A new relationship with God as Father, Almighty Creator  A new relationship with Christ, as Redeemer, Savior, friend and brother  A new relationship with the Spirit as giver of life, as power over evil, as speaking even now

17 Baptism Changes Social Identity Into a social order that now includes:  A new relationship with the Church. We are kin, ONE body, obliged to create and support  A new relationship with the world, as co-creators with God

18 3 Identity Changes Baptism Makes 1. Into God’s Holy and Chosen people, free from sin 2. Into members of a covenant that cannot be broken 3. Into a new social order that establishes new relationships with God, Christ, the Spirit, the Church and the World

19 Ritual Text and the Baptized Paragraph 400: “their status differs from that of catechumens, since by baptism they have already become members of the Church and children of God. Hence their conversion is based on the baptism they have already received, the effects of which they must develop.” (Emphasis mine)

20 Ritual Text and the Baptized Paragraph 402 “…these adults have a special status because they are already baptized.” Paragraph 412 Regarding the Rite of Welcome “…The prayers and ritual gestures acknowledge that they are already part of the community because they have been marked by baptism.”

21 Baptism Changes our Orientation We are oriented toward Jesus’ life, passion, death and resurrection. The Paschal Mystery is our locus for making meaning.

22 The Ritual Text says it this way: Paragraph 75: Those preparing for baptism receive a catechesis that “ also [leads to] to a profound sense of the mystery of salvation in which they desire to participate.” Remember, this is our orientation! The Paschal Mystery is the mystery of salvation.

23 Baptism Establishes our Mission Priest Prophet King/Ruler

24 Discernment with the Baptized Paragraph 400:…Hence their conversion is based on the baptism they have already received, the effects of which they must develop. Effect of a new identity Effect of new orientation Effect of a new mission

25 THE INITIAL CONVERSATION(S) Holy listening….discernment… begins as the relationship begins.

26 The National Statutes #30 Those who have already been baptized in another Church or ecclesial community should not be treated as catechumens or so designated. Their doctrinal and spiritual preparation for reception into full Catholic communion should be determined according to the individual case, that is, it should depend on the extent to which the baptized person has led a Christian life within a community of faith and been appropriately catechized to deepen his or her inner adherence to the Church. (Emphasis added.)

27 The National Statutes NS #31 …Those baptized persons who have lived as Christians and need only instruction in the Catholic tradition and a degree of probation within the Catholic community should not be asked to undergo a full program parallel to the catechumenate.

28 Summarizing so far… Discern using two lenses: what baptism does and what the Rite calls for Discernment with the already baptized: ◦ Levels of evangelization ◦ Levels of Christian catechesis  The related need for “unlearning” ◦ Levels of Catholic catechesis  The related need for “unlearning” ◦ Readiness for movement through the process

29 Summary Two lenses: baptism’s effects and the Rite A third lens: what constitutes a catechized adult More than just readiness for movement through the Rite: ◦ Evangelization ◦ Christian catechesis ◦ Catholic catechesis

30 The Afternoon’s Work Mystagogy as the approach for post- baptismal catechesis Model mystagogical catechetical session Connecting to the Rite And if there’s time: 1. Issues in working with the baptized Resources Conclusions and Sending Forth

31 Understanding Mystagogical Catechesis Understanding Mystagogical Catechesis “Mystagogy is a Christian life skill learned throughout the Catechumenate but especially in the light of Easter sacraments. All Christian living is into or out of Baptism.” Jim Schellman

32 Understanding Mystagogical Catechesis “ Mystagogical catechesis is the invitation into deeper meaning, a sacramental adventure. It is a reminder that sacraments are not graduations but inductions into a communion. ” Sr. Sandra DiMasi

33 MYSTAGOGICAL REFLECTION How is God moving and acting? What is the candidate now needing to hear more about from the Catholic tradition? To what is God leading? How does the community respond to God’s call to this candidate? Where in the community can her catechetical needs be met? Discerning God’s movement in a candidate’s life

34 Susan’s Catechetical Plan Weeks Achieves One: Gathers with initiation community for catechesis Two and Three: Sponsor accompanies to baptismal preparation Four: Sponsor acquires information from MOMs group and from DRE regarding partnering with parents and gives to Susan Spiritual formation and discernment (Mystery) Doctrinal catechesis and connection to the community (Identity, Mystery) Expectation of life in Christ in the Catholic community and how that can happen (Social relationships)

35 Susan’s Catechetical Plan WeeksAchieves Five: Susan and her sponsor meet to discuss baptism and materials. Sponsor either answers questions, forwards to team or other source. Six: Initiating community gathers with Susan for baby’s baptism Identity as member of Body of Christ responsible for one another’s formation (Social relationships) Identity as member of Body of Christ, communal support for her to raise her child in the ways of faith ( Identity, mystery, and mission )

36 Susan’s Catechetical Plan WeeksAchieves Seven: Gathered catechetical session with mystagogical catechesis on baby’s baptism Doctrinal and spiritual formation with discernment of God’s action (Identity, mystery and mission)

37 What the Rite says: Doctrinal and spiritual formation #477 With no greater burden than necessary #473 That fosters a deeper adherence to the Church #477 Responsibility of the entire community #9 Adapted to individual pastoral requirements #477

38 Signs of a catechized adult Can speak of Christ alive and moving--- evangelized and capable of telling those stories Understands cross, resurrection and discipleship from lived experience. Can name evil and how grace overcomes it. Knows the Scriptures and can articulate experience in light of them

39 Signs of a catechized adult Is connected to the Christian community, understands how it serves internally and externally, has relationships of support, learning and challenge Has liturgical formation that leads to mission Adult Catechesis in the Christian Community #25-27

40 Discerning with the Baptized Know effects of baptism to be developed Know how to do an initial set of conversations Know how to use mystagogical catechesis which is a method for discernment Can design custom pathways Trust the Rite’s wisdom and direction All the community discerns in their own encounters with the candidate

41 Considerations Figuring out their pathway to the table “Sorting Fish” Determining validity of baptism ◦ What are the parameters for conditional baptism? Ecumenical Sensitivity Are there impediments? ◦ Marriage issues ◦ Freedom issues

42 Considerations continue: Disposition of the candidates How to handle dismissal catechesis When should they be received? How to deal with confession?

43 WORKING WITH THE BAPTIZED Leads t o their profession of the Nicene Creed and this added profession of faith: “I believe and profess all that the holy Roman Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.” #491

44 Resources The Rite book and Morris book Transforming the Church Bibliography in your packet Office of Worship website Handouts in this packet The NA Forum Institute “Concerning the Baptized” July 10-11 in Richmond


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