All Invited to “Making Disciples” Conference in Auburn on July 7-8

LEWISTON---“It’s almost like we have had to rebuild every part of our parish.”

Fr. Daniel Greenleaf, pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston, Lisbon Falls, and Sabattus, echoes the majority of organizational leadership in the Church and beyond after the pandemic.

While many of the ministries and initiatives have returned to their pre-pandemic levels, one area in particular need of reconstruction is the parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program, a parish-based process through which individuals can grow in understanding of the Catholic faith and become part of a parish community.

“We need to reform our RCIA team, show parishioners the way the Church makes disciples and welcomes people into its community, and we want to invite all Maine parishes to join us,” said Fr. Greenleaf.

Thus, the “Making Disciples” Conference has been announced for Friday, July 7, and Saturday, July 8, at Saint Dominic Academy in Auburn. The two-day conference will be hosted by Prince of Peace Parish and TeamRCIA, which has connected thousands of parish and diocesan leaders around the globe to help and support them in their mission.

“The conference will help participants understand that RCIA is not just another parish program but the work of all the baptized in transforming the parish,” said Fr. Greenleaf.

All are welcome at the conference, which will be led by Nick Wagner and Diana Macalintal, cofounders and codirectors of TeamRCIA.

The conference aims to offer confidence for participants to engage seekers, ways for parishes to make their catechumenate ministry a source of joy and not stress, proven pillars of creating “intentional disciples,” and practical actions parishes can take to make themselves “communities of calling forth disciples.”

The first evening of the conference on Friday, July 7, will run from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and covers how to tell others about Jesus, the six core principles of the catechumenate, the four pillars of catechumenate catechesis that grow a community of intentional disciples, and the changes the come to a parish committed to a catechumenate-based conversion mission.

Then, on Saturday, July 8, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., participants will learn how to catechize from a rite in such a way that matters to real people’s lives, the ritual and catechetical paths of the catechumenate and how they work together, three levels of evangelization, a process for discerning each person’s particular needs and path of formation, how to use your parish as the catechetical curriculum for making disciples, and more.

“To help build relationships and community, we are offering host families for adults who would like to stay with parishioners, or you can reserve rooms at an area hotel for the one night,” said Fr. Greenleaf. “We know that Catholics are connected throughout the state, and this might make this professional conference affordable to anyone in our diocese who would like to be trained in the way our Church makes disciples.”

For more information about the conference, including how to register, visit the conference’s website