Catholic membership classes to begin Sept. 4

Aug 25, 2014

The term “Catholic” comes from a Greek word meaning, “according to the whole,” and it signifies that Christianity is the whole faith for all people in all places and for all time. A series of classes designed to give adults a firm foundation for full membership in the Catholic Church is set to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, in the rectory of Saint John the Evangelist Church, located at 234 Church St., Waynesville. Each session will last about an hour and a half.

The series is an integral part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program, which consists of periods of awakening, growth and formation. Participants attend Mass together as well as classes to learn more about the faith through lectures, discussions and praying together. Those preparing for baptism or reception will have sponsors to accompany them on their journey, which will reach its climax at the Easter Vigil, which will be April 4, 2015.

While the RCIA program is primarily aimed at adults preparing for baptism and those already-baptized Christians who are seeking to complete their journey into full communion with the Catholic Church, the classes also welcome anyone — Catholic or not, Christian or not — who wants to better understand what Catholics believe, why they believe it and what difference it is meant to make in the way they live.

During the course of the classes, all essential aspects of Catholic faith and practice will be covered by a team of parish members led by Saint John’s new pastor, Fr. Christopher Riehl. Ample opportunity will be provided during class time for addressing participants’ questions about the faith.

Topics to be covered will include — among many others — the nature of God and creation, the fall of man, his redemption through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the foundation of the Church, how the Bible came to be and why it is still authoritative, the communion of saints, the gift of sacraments, the universal call to holiness and our journey to heaven, the Christian sexual ethic and the application of Catholic teaching to social problems.

More information can be obtained by calling the church office at 456-6707, by going to the parish web site,, or by emailing the pastor at