Dear Friends in Christ,
The sacred Easter season of fifty days officially comes to an end on the Solemnity of Pentecost. This day commemorates the giving of the Holy Spirit to the apostles, the beginnings of the Church and its mission to every tongue, people and nation. The earliest followers of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit and encouraged by His grace were fired up to spread the Gospel to all nations as they themselves lived and proclaimed the Gospel.
Since 1988, many inquirers searching for Christ in the Catholic Church, journeyed along with others in a wonderful experience. The RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, consists of the steps and periods that make up the complete form of Christian Initiation of Adults into the Church. What I have noticed over the years is a bit of “disconnection” with the local parish after the intense Lenten season leading up to the Easter Vigil. Some ‘neophytes’, having been introduced to a fuller understanding of mysteries through the Gospel message and the sacraments that they have received, seem to have a letdown. Having spent time with others in a small faith sharing situation, they now have to maneuver their way into a larger parish framework that many of us take for granted. It is up to us as members of the larger church environment, to seek out and invite these neophytes to enter into the life of the church at a different level.
If Pentecost is to be celebrated as the birthday of the Church, we all need to rediscover the spirit of that first event some two thousand years ago and see what we can do to ignite that fire in our own lives and possibly involve our new members of the Church to join in.
Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Armando Ochoa