The Rite of Christian Initiation for adults, RCIA, is beginning again this year during Emmaus Nights at Benedictine College.
Claudia Sahm, RCIA Team Coordinator, is looking forward to the upcoming year.
“There are so many faithful men and women on our campus who are not Catholic but love Jesus Christ,” Sahm said. “I have been inspired time and time again by these people’s faith and it is a privilege of mine to walk with them. They lead me closer to Christ more than anything.”
The candidates, which are students who have not been baptized, and the catechumens, those students seeking Confirmation, can attend classes at Emmaus Nights every Monday night from 7:30-9:00 p.m.
These classes are taught by professors, priests, or RCIA Team Leaders. The sessions cover topics such as Faith and Reason and the Holy Trinity.
Father Ryan, Benedictine College chaplain, elaborates on the true meaning behind these nights.
“We chose the name ‘Emmaus’ because we want the RCIA experience to be a true personal encounter with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church,” Ryan said.
In addition to Emmaus Nights, students not going through RCIA can join a group called Prayer Warriors to pray for those going through the program.
“It has been a blessing for me to walk with the RCIA candidates and catechumens,” Fr. Ryan said. “Witnessing them experience the joy of the sacraments has been a real privilege. Thanks be to God, we already have a fantastic group that is open to learning more about their faith and I cannot wait to see what the Holy Spirit has in store.”
Even if students are not going through RCIA, they are still encouraged to be involved in the program. RCIA is open to for people to learn more about the Catholic faith or to receive the sacraments for the first time.
“Anyone is welcome to attend any Emmaus night for their own personal walk with Christ,” Sahm said.
The program ends on Divine Mercy Sunday where the students will be received into the Catholic Church.
*Kate Kirstein also contributed to the article.