Sunday, November 3, 2013

Not Just One Patron Saint

RCIA Assignment
I'd be remiss if I did not share one of the exercises that I did with the RCIA group I talked to the night before Halloween. That night, I gave a presentation on the Communion of Saints. If you'd like to learn more about what I talked about then I recommend reading the post I wrote about that a couple of days ago. Anyway, that night I challenged the group do some homework by researching their patron saints. I told them they didn't just have one patron saint, but potentially three.

Three Part Process
The assignment is a three part process. First, I instructed them to look up the saint whose name they shared. Now I know that in this day and age many people don't have Christian names, but I figured for most part most do. If they don't have an explicitly Christian name, the next thing is to choose a name that is closely associated with one. For example, the name Jessica is not a biblical name but is thought to be associated with the name Joanna. OK, the next part of the exercise required that they look up the patron saint whose feast day falls on their birthday. I shared that I did this very exercise myself years ago when I first taught the Communion of Saints to RCIA. As a result of this, I discovered that St. Albert the Great is the saint whose feast day is celebrated on November 15th. He is the patron saint of teachers and I happen to be a teacher. Discovering that for the first time was pretty special. Needless to say, I think looking up your birthday saint is the most fun and potentially eye opening. The final part of the assignment is for them to research potential names they would take for confirmation. While we are not required to take on a saint name during confirmation, I encourage candidates and Catechumens to do so, especially since many don't already have Christian names. I think this gives them one more personal connection to the Communion of Saints and give them a saint to lean on during tough time. If you have already been confirmed, I still encourage you to do further reading on your patron saint.

Patron Saint Resources:
Here are a few websites for looking up patron saints by date or cause:
Give It a Shot
The point of doing this exercise is to demonstrate that we could potentially have up to 3 saints to connect with and call upon for intercessory prayer I just think this is a fun way get people to actively be thinking about the communion of saints and how they are already part of the Church Militant. Give it a shot let me know how it goes.