Beyond Mystagogy

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Branion, Robert Jr.
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
A formal process of conversion to Christianity can be directly traced back to the fourth century through the writing of Church Fathers such as Cyril of Jerusalem, Ambrose, and John Chrysostom’. Unfortunately, the problem of these converts to Christianity not continuing in their journey of faith is just as old. Over the years many people have addressed this problem and have come up with various solutions. In fact, the return to an original catechumenate process instituted by Vatican II is just one of the many solutions that have been implemented over the centuries. Recently, the lengthening of the mystagogy period to one full year and beyond has been one of the many programs instituted to assist these neophytes in their journey of faith. Having become Catholic myself through the RCIA process in 1983, I have first hand knowledge of what this wonderful process has to offer. In fact, I became a RCIA Team Member in 1987 and have participated in the program for some 12 years since then. Knowing what the RCIA process can do to change someone’s life, I am deeply moved by the conversion process and particularly those cases where the conversion is only temporary. By the grace of God, my conversion has been permanent, at least so far, and I would like to explore what can be done to make this conversion experience permanent for others. Therefore, the purpose of this Pastoral Project is to see what can be done to help. I have entitled the Project “Beyond Mystagogy” not because the improvements will occur only after mystagogy, but rather that the conversion process must continue beyond mystagogy.