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A Letter to RCIA Sponsors and Potential Sponsors

Have you ever desired to share in the missionary activity of the Church, but couldn't travel to foreign lands? Perhaps God is calling you to share the riches of your Catholic Faith with one person, without leaving your family or career, by becoming a sponsor in your local parish RCIA process. If you have been confirmed, are a Catholic in good standing, and are not in an irregular marriage, then consider whether the Holy Spirit may be leading you to walk on the journey toward the Catholic Church with one special person.

A sponsor offers spiritual help to a candidate for Baptism and/or Confirmation (CCC #1311). As you walk with someone through the RCIA process, you will also be called upon to offer the practical help of incorporating that person into the community, familiarizing him/her with Catholic worship and culture, and to urge both the local parish and the bishop to welcome the catechumen or candidate to receive the sacraments at Easter. You will be asked to come to the weekly RCIA sessions, to attend the selected Sunday Mass with your RCIA group (remaining at Mass, without engaging in Breaking Open the Word,) and to take time to get to know your catechumen or candidate. St Thomas Aquinas tells us, "For this reason he also who receives this sacrament, [Confirmation] has someone to stand for him, who, as it were, has to instruct him concerning the fight." (Summa Theologica, Third Part, Question 72, Article 10)

Are you willing to devote a significant amount of time for a single year to introduce one person to the Catholic Church, "the mother of our new birth" (CCC #169) which offers him/her the fullness of Salvation won for us by Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, became man, suffered, and died to redeem you. He would have done so if you had been the only person in the world. As a sponsor in the RCIA Process, you can "pay it forward" by bringing one person to the life of Faith within the Catholic Church.

Joyce Stolberg

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