RCIA class offers everyone chance to learn about Catholicism

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 22, 2000

Mike Roboski knows the lessons he’s teaching his students — both teenagers and adults — can be put to use immediately. Roboski, who teaches ninth and 10th-grade religion classes at Cathedral School, will also be teaching three lessons during this year’s RCIA classes at St. Mary Basilica.

&uot;I feel like I’m teaching something people can start using immediately, unlike some other classes,&uot; he said. &uot;Have you used your college algebra yet?&uot;

RCIA — Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults — classes began Thursday at St. Mary. They will last until Easter, when class members who have decided to convert to Catholicism will join the church at the Easter Vigil Mass.

Email newsletter signup

But the RCIA classes are not only open to people interested in becoming Catholic. Anyone interested in learning more about Catholicism — such as non-Catholics or inactive Catholics — is welcome to attend.

And Roboski said the classes don’t put any pressure on anyone to join the church. He should know — his wife, Cathy, who was raised Baptist joined the church after attending RCIA classes not long after they were married.

Roboski served as his wife’s sponsor for RCIA classes, but a week before she joined the church, he made sure she knew it was entirely her decision. &uot;I know some people think my wife joined the church because I’m Catholic,&uot; he said. &uot;But it was her own choosing.&uot;

Now Mike and Cathy are teaching one of the RCIA&160;lessons together, a class on marriage.

The experience has been worthwhile for them, Cathy said. &uot;It made us as a couple a lot stronger,&uot; she said.

Mike, who has always been a teacher, decided to become a religion teacher after he attended RCIA classes with Cathy.

&uot;It’s really fulfilling to feel like you’re sharing your faith with others,&uot; he said. &uot;And you feel like you’re giving back to the church.

&uot;Despite what people think, religion and faith don’t go out of style,&uot; he said.

The Rev. Al Camp, pastor of St. Mary, will also be teaching several of the RCIA lessons.

The classes, which will be taught at 7 p.m. Thursdays at St. Theresa’s Hall in the basement of St. Mary, are about an hour and a half long.

Camp said classes are videotaped in case anyone misses a lesson.

Camp said he doesn’t look on the lessons as teaching his own faith to class members. &uot;It’s their expression of faith, really,&uot; he said. &uot;In a sense it’s the Lord — I kind of work for him.&uot;