While it is true that the “parish is the curriculum” (Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us) for the RCIA, and that the liturgical calendar should give shape and form to the “scope and sequence” of the catechumenate, the fact is, most RCIA coordinators and teams still desire to put a book in the hands of their catechumens and candidates. I have been delighted to learn that many such coordinators and teams have chosen to use my book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe as their “textbook” for RCIA, because it is inviting, engaging, easy-to-understand, and provides a comprehensive introduction to the four pillars of our Catechism: Creed, Sacraments, Morality, and Prayer.
This book, also available in Spanish, comes with a free online Leader Guide that you can download and use to conduct 20 sessions over the course of the RCIA process and is appropriate for high school on up. The following customer reviews from Amazon capture what I hear people all over the country telling me:
Our RCIA process needed a new resource due to the number of people we have. This book is very good for the team, the candidates, and others. Easy to read, informative without being stuffy. (Pat)
A great resource for those considering Catholicism. It breaks down the faith into basic sections and beliefs. Well-written and concise book which relates a basic understanding of the core beliefs of the Roman Catholic faith. (Chris)
In my opinion, this book would be a wonderful gift for anyone interested in the Catholic faith or entering RCIA. It is also a great tool and resource for all of us cradle Catholics who want to brush up on the “why” of our faith or learn things we’ve missed along the way. A Well-Built Faith gives you the knowledge and confidence to be able to share your faith with your friends, family and children. (Lisa)
I recommend that you don’t stop there, however! A perfect book to provide for your RCIA sponsors is Practice Makes Catholic: Moving from a Learned Faith to a Lived Faith, which also comes with a Leader Guide and Participant Workbook to assist sponsors in mentoring candidates in understanding and incorporating Catholic practices into their lives. Sponsors feel much more at ease talking about how they practice the Catholic faith than they do explaining doctrine, which is not their main responsibility anyway. Again, see what reviewers are saying:
This book was such an important piece in my faith conversion. I’ve been a Catholic my whole life and found myself learning more and more with each chapter. (KMA4)
I think it is a very easy and practical book. I strongly recommend it if you want to know the why’s and the how’s of Catholicism. (Edith)
My husband recently completed RCIA and this book was a great “tool” to help me explain certain things to him. Practice Makes Catholic can be enjoyed by everyone from cradle Catholics to people interested in learning about the Catholic faith. (Lauren)
As you look forward to next year’s RCIA process, be sure to take a closer look at these great resources.
Also see Called to Be Catholic, based on my book, A Well-Built Faith. Called to Be Catholic is a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that provides directors, catechists, and parents with all the tools and resources they need to help young people know what it means to be Catholic, spark a desire to further investigate their faith, and grow in their relationship with God.