In 1972, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops called for the
implementation of The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults as the ordinary means
by which adults entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Preparation for the Rites includes a process which involves the parish in a
number of different ways: as a celebrating assembly, through catechetical and
support roles, and as a welcoming community.
The actual implementation of the preparatory process can be limited by
any or all of the following at the parish level. Even though the North American Forum on the Catechumenate (based in
Washington, DC) offers numerous workshops for those involved in the
Catechumenate, it seems that relatively few lay people have taken part in these
workshops (Beginnings and Beginnings and Beyond, etc.). One of the main
reasons for this is that workshops are usually held over the course of a week and
many lay people who happily volunteer their time in their parish RCIA process are not free to take advantage of events that require taking time from their work or family obligations. As a result, those who attend the Forum's
offerings are more likely going to be individuals who have a professional
pastoral background and are already exposed to and trained in the RCIA