Daniel Beltran stands with others being baptized on Easter Vigil at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)
Daniel Beltran stands with others being baptized on Easter Vigil at Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN)

The Profession of Faith is a central component of the Christian faith. It is both a communal and personal expression of Catholic core beliefs.

CDA-2003-4_cRyan Hanning, diocesan director of Parish Leadership Support, said that for most Catholics this Profession of Faith is best illustrated by the weekly proclamation of the Nicene Creed at Mass and the renewal of Baptismal vows made during the Easter Season.

For those in RCIA, however, the Profession of Faith is a formal act of the will, marking their entrance into the Catholic Church, Hanning said.

At Mass, Catholics stand in unity with the parish community and recite the beliefs in the Trinity.

The Nicene Creed resulted from the great councils of the Church when it was still undivided and is to this day the common basis for the Christians in the East and West.

Both the Nicene Creed and Apostles Creed, the summary of the faith of the Apostles, are elaborations of the faith in the Triune God.

Each begins with a profession of faith to the Father, the Creator of the world; then refers to the Son, the Redeemer; and finishes with the Holy Spirit, who is the presence of God in the Church and in the world.

St. Augustine was quoted as saying, “Let the Creed be like a mirror for you. Look at yourself in it to see whether you really believe all that you claim to believe. And rejoice every day in your faith.”

The Creeds go back to the time of Jesus when He commanded His disciples to baptize.

Hanning said the Diocese of Phoenix welcomed more than 2,000 adults into the faith at the Easter Vigil, in addition to nearly 10,000 infant baptisms and about 10,000 confirmations this year.

Critical to the formation of new members of the Church is the training received by RCIA leaders. It is no wonder, then, that the Evangelization and Education Division receives the largest portion of funding from the annual Charity and Development Appeal — more than $2 million.

“With over 2,000 individuals involved in RCIA as either converts from other Christian faiths, or as non-baptized, the formation and support of RCIA leaders is a critical part of CDA funding to the Department of Family Catechesis and the Office of Worship,” Hanning said.

The Department of Family Catechesis provides support, services and on-going formation to parishes, pastors, priests and leaders to enable them in the Church’s mission of evangelization and catechesis.

Specifically, in the areas of infant baptism, children’s catechesis, youth and young adult evangelization, marriage preparation and adult faith formation, as well as pastoral care and evangelization to those with disabilities.

“Through the generosity of those who support CDA, we are able to provide resources and formation to our RCIA coordinators who welcome non-Christians, and non-Catholics to the faith on behalf of the entire Church,” Hanning said.

Donna Kano, director of Faith Formation at St. Anne Parish in Gilbert, welcomed 33 adults, children and teenagers in both the English and Spanish programs into the faith this year.

Some of the participants are those baptized in another faith, and made a Profession of Faith, the Creed, while others were fully initiated through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.

“I welcome training or classes in the RCIA on a diocesan level,” Kano said. “Kino has excellent training for RCIA. There’s a fine balance to presenting the material at a level they (RCIA) can grasp, understand and really integrate into their lives. We all have a story to tell, and it’s really important to listen to them and be willing, wherever they are on their journey, to welcome them.”

Celebrate the Faith

The Charity and Development Appeal  raised more than $8.1 million last year to support education and evangelization efforts.
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