Designing Your Calendar for 2012-2013
Part 1

By Joyce Stolberg

The same Holy Spirit who inspired the design of the lectionary also inspired our catechetical system. Therefore, lectionary-based catechesis operates in synergy with systematic instruction when sound planning is applied. Before formally inaugurating your RCIA process, prepare a calendar specifically for the year and liturgical cycle in which you are teaching. Part Two of the supplement to the Catechist and Directors' Edition of God Calls You by Name provides a general guide for aligning topics with liturgical readings. Pages S-37 through S-52 help correlate the lessons for initial evangelization and catechesis in New Beginnings with the spring and summer liturgies. Pages S-53 through S-82 assist in correlating the lesson plans in God Calls You by Name with the fall, winter, and spring liturgies. Presented here is a sample calendar, which can be used for formal catechetical instruction from the fall of 2012 through mystagogia of 2013. This calendar begins in Year B and moves to Year C on the first Sunday of Advent.

Part 1 Designing Your Calendar for Autumn 2012

Part 2 Designing Your Calendar for Advent and Christmas 2012-2013

Part 3 Designing Your Calendar for Lent 2013

Calendar for 2012-2013: Autumn Entry into Formal Catechesis

The liturgy of Ordinary, (ordinal or numbered) Time coaches and mentors us in Christian growth and development. The week of the 23rd Sunday offers a probable transition point from an informal summer process to a formal autumn entry. The 24th through the 29th Sundays in Ordinary Time correlate well with the instructional materials in the first two parts of God Calls You by Name. These six Sundays will likely correspond with the Precatechumenate /Inquiry period of the formal RCIA Process. Chapters one and two of God Calls You by Name present liturgical ceremony and etiquette, the order of the Mass and the use and symbolic meaning of material things in Catholic liturgy. These instructions are vital to developing a comfort level with attendance at Sunday Mass. Your pattern of ritual dismissal for reflection on the Scripture readings may also be forming during these weeks.

Chapters three, four and five present basic information concerning the Catholic Church, including the Catholic teaching on Scripture and the role of Tradition, as well as the nature, structure, symbolism, models, leadership and history of the Church. These topics address key questions of inquirers and fulfill the goals of the Precatechumenate. They need not be approached in the same order as the book presents them.

Three major events shape our catechetical process this year. October 11 begins an intense year of new evangelization: this marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II. As RCIA directors and catechists, you are on the cutting edge of the evangelization process. This is also a presidential election year with its obsessive campaigning in the autumn. Moral issues taught by the Catholic Church militate against the permissive morality of our contemporary society, and they will factor into our choices of candidates for public office on all levels. We will also see an intense protest against the Health and Human Services Mandate which requires Catholic institutions to pay for birth control, abortions, sterilization procedures, and other "reproductive services" in violation of our conscience as Catholics. These key issues will assert themselves forcefully into the manner in which you present Catholic Church structure and history, moral teachings, and life and social issues, presented in Chapters 4, 5, 7, and 9 of the text. A suggested calendar for 2012-2013, beginning in Cycle B and changing to Cycle C on the first Sunday of Advent, is presented below. The supplement section of God Calls You by Name provides further details for your correlations.

Year B/C

Because of the natural rhythm of the Gospel of Mark, a program for the year in which it is read may differ somewhat from the order of instruction in God Calls You By Name and from your plan for other years. St. Mark describes events in Christ’s life with the imminence and energy of St. Peter with whom he worked. Express this momentum in your autumn lessons.

Sunday Date Sunday Readings Suggested Topic

Sept. 9, 2012: 23rd Sun. Ord. Time
Session Date, Time

Isaiah 35:4-7a; Psalm 146;

James 2:1-5; Mark 7:31-37

Welcome, Introductions
RCIA Process Explained
GCYBN: Intro. CCC #1-49

Sept. 16, 2012: 24th Sun. Ord. Time
Session Date, Time

Isaiah 50:4c-9a; Psalm 116;

James 2:14-18; Mark 8:27-35

The Mass, Worship

GCYBN Ch. 1, CCC 1066 - 1112

Sept. 23, 2012: 25th Sun. Ord. Time
Session Date, Time

Wisdom 2:12, 17-20; Psalm 54

James 3:16-4:3; Mark 9:30-37


Liturgical Enhancements, GCYBN
Ch. 2, CCC #1145 to 1209


Sept. 30, 2012: 26th Sun. Ord. Time Session Date, Time

Numbers 11:25-29; Psalm 19

James 5:1-6;

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

The Church, GCYBN Ch. 4
CCC #748-987


Oct. 7, 2012: 27th Sun. Ord. Time Session Date, Time

Genesis 2:18-24; Psalm 128

Hebrews 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16

History of the Church, GCYBN Ch. 5. Introduce Church teachings on marriage, divorce, nullity, with Gospel explanation.

Oct. 14, 2012: 28th Sun. Ord. Time
Session Date, Time

Wisdom 7:7-11; Psalm 90

Hebrews 4:12-13; Mark 10:17-30


Divine Revelation and Scripture
GCYBN Ch. 3, CCC #50-184

Oct. 21, 2012: 29th Sun. Ord. Time

Session Date, Time


Isaiah 53:10-11; Psalm 33

Hebrews 4:14-16; Mark 10:35-45

Introduce Morality, 10 Command-ments, Church Teachings in GCYBN, Ch.7 and 9, elaborate on them later CCC #1877-2557


Note: It is extremely important for inquirers to have at least a solid basic presentation of the 10 Commandments and the moral teachings and requirements of the Church, including marriage laws, before they choose to enter the catechumenate. Chapter 7 of God Calls You by Name presents basic conscience formation, morality, and the Ten Commandments. Chapter 9 presents Church teachings that build on these doctrines (and will be addressed repeatedly); it addresses practical moral issues. Do make sure that the essentials of Catholic moral teachings are presented prior to your discernment retreat for the Rites of Acceptance and Welcome. You have already introduced doctrines concerning the Trinity and Christ in their sublime simplicity during the course of initial catechesis; candidates are also cognizant of these essential doctrines. Chapter 6 details these wonderful doctrines; it can be presented after the retreat, if necessary. The November liturgies center around the great harvest of souls at the end of time; material from Chapter 8 (last things) should be presented in November.

This calendar plan allows time to pause and reflect during the week of October 23. Briefly introduce the purposes of prayer and the teaching on the "Our Father" in God Calls You by Name, Ch. 17, then offer time for questions and discussion on material presented so far. Save time for discernment concerning the decision to participate in the Rites of Acceptance and Welcome, allow participants and potential sponsors an opportunity to confidentially write down some names of persons with whom they could interact well. Plan a pre-acceptance retreat, during which the discernment process can be enhanced. The first retreat plan, God Calls You by Name, S-85, is based on the readings for All Saints' Day; it presents the Beatitudes and the Our Father in greater depth.

Sunday Date Sunday Readings Suggested Topic

Oct. 28, 2012: 30th Sun. Ord. Time

Session Date, Time

Jeremiah 31:7-9; Psalm 126

Hebrews 5:1-6; Mark 10:46-52


Introduce Holy Days of Obligation

Continue Morality, Discernment,

Preparation for rites

Retreat #1: Date, Time, Place
(Time frame is flexible)


See 1st retreat plan, GCYBN, S-85

(Plan for Rite of Acceptance, suggest any Sunday following retreat)

Nov. 1, 2012: Feast of All Saints
(Holy Day of Obligation)

Rev. 7:2-4, 9-14; Psalm 24;

1 John 3: 1-3; Matthew 5:1-12a


Nov. 4, 2012: 31st Sun. Ord. Time

Session Date, Time

Deuteronomy 6:2-6; Psalm 18

Hebrews 7:23-28

Mark 12:28b-34

Catholic Doctrine, GCYBN, Ch. 6,
CCC #199-747


Nov. 11, 2012: 32nd Sun. Ord. Time
Session Date, Time


1 Kings 17:10-16; Psalm 146

Hebrews 9:24-28


Nature of Humankind, Morality, GCYBN, Ch. 7, 9 in more detail

CCC # 1877- 2557

Nov. 18, 2012: 33rd Sun. Ord. Time, Session Date, Time


Daniel 12:1-3

Psalm 16

Hebrews 10:11-14, 18


The Holy City (Last Things), GCYBN, Ch. 8, CCC #976- 1065

(If breaking for Thanksgiving, use this topic elsewhere before Advent.)

Nov. 25, 2012: Feast of Christ the King
Session Date, Time

Daniel 7:13-14; Psalm 93

Revelation 1:5-8

John 18:33b-37

Church Discipline, Precepts, GCYBN, Ch 10, CCC # 1877-2557
Prepare for Advent (or Last Things)


Note: If you take a break during Thanksgiving week, the last two lessons listed above can be combined. Introduce the Precepts of the Church now; the difference between unchanging dogma and adjustable disciplinary practices is vitally important here. Stress Holy Days of Obligation: three of them occur between December 8 and January 1. Explain fasting and abstinence just prior to Ash Wednesday. Prepare for Advent, which inaugurates a new liturgical year with a new cycle of readings. Describe the three-year cycle of readings. Review material in Chapter 2 on liturgical seasons and colors.