VOCATION of the RCIA SPONSOR - being a bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Sponsors are persons who have known and assisted the candidates and stand as witnesses to the candidates’ moral character, faith and intention…..” (RCIA 10).

 

The sponsor is charged with three important tasks:

  • Knowing the Candidate

  • Assisting the Candidate and

  • Witnessing to the Candidate

Each one of the above then has a three-part goal: The conversion of the candidate’s moral character, faith, and intention.

 

Along with the Coordinator of the RCIA experience, you are invited to contribute to the building of a sense of community among the participants so that the candidates experience St Patrick’s as a place of welcome and friendly support.  For some , the journey to Catholic faith can be difficult.

 

KNOWING

 

So the first step is to get to know the person you are sponsoring - really know them.

This will involve your  being:

   - willing to seek to become a friend to the person you are accompanying;

   - available for hours of time, sharing stories, attending meetings and rituals;

   - an active listener, that is listening to what is said and unsaid in a non-judgemental way;

   - an inspirer, an in-spiriter, and this assumes that you pray every day and that you are an

      active participant  in weekly Sunday Mass and the major worship events of the parish;

   - open to new relationships;and,

   - prudent and able to keep confidentiality.

 

 

 

ASSISTING

This will involve your being:

   - a nurturing presence for the candidate on his/her faith journey;

   - a help to the candidate in methods of prayer;

   - willing to introduce the candidate to other Catholics;

   - available to accompany them during the different Rites;

   - an example of hopefulness for your candidate; and,

   - willing to bring to the attention of the Coordinator any issues about the candidate or the program

     you think are significant or need attention.

 

 

 

 

WITNESSING

This will involve your being:

   - willing to lead by example and by being joyful and knowing you are saved;

   - an example of possessing a love for Christ and his Church;

   - an example of a lived faith in your personal life;

   - familiar with a basic understanding of the Church’s teaching; and,

   - committed to your own faith development.

   - praying each day for your candidate.

 

 

 

 

Above all the Sponsor’s most important task is to help the candidate recognise the person of Jesus Christ and form a personal relationship

with Him.

This is a privilege and it is a duty.

 

 

 

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What Should Sponsors Avoid?

Here are a few suggestions for sponsors to avoid.  These are based on the common experiences of those in parish ministry:

 

  • Referring to the person you are serving as a "non-Catholic"

 

  • Overwhelming him/her with chatter, advice, and knowledge of Catholic doctrine and practice.

 

  • Prying or insisting on knowing information or sinful behaviour that he/she wishes to keep private

 

  • Sharing your interior life and struggles in a form of spiritual "one-upmanship"

 

  • Assuming he/she will necessarily become a Catholic or become a Catholic this Easter

 

  • Making guesses as to the Correct answer to a question, or beginning or discuss a Church teaching with "I've never understood why..."

 

  • Allowing discouragement or difficulties to shake your trust in God's providence and loving care of the person you are serving.

 

  • Speaking of or treating Catholic beliefs or practices with disrespect.

 

  • Trying to make the person you are serving a Catholic in your image.

 

  • Using the RCIA sessions to get your own questions answered or to express your frustrations with the Church.

 

  • Commenting on who does (or does not) attend parish-sponsored devotions.

 

  • Expressing overly opinionated preferences in hymns, liturgical traditions, or why you think one cultural or ethnic expression of spirituality is better than another.

 

  • Giving extravagant gifts or gifts beyond your means.

 

  • Assuming that the nature of your relationship during the RCIA process will always be the basis of your relationship with your new Catholic and that it will not change and evolve.