Wednesday, August 22, 2018
It Takes 50 Hours to Make a Friend
In a recent study conducted by Jeffrey Hall, a professor at the University of Kansas, and published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, it takes 50 hours to make a friend. It takes 50 hours to graduate from an acquaintance to a casual friend. It takes 90 hours to become a "friend." To become a close friend will require 200+ hours.
This is the time of year when people who are interested in becoming a Catholic come to us and ask “how do I become a Catholic,” “when does it begin,” and “how long will it take?” The it is the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). At St. Henry, RCIA begins at the moment the person chooses to inquire about the Catholic faith. We have a year-round process for the RCIA: It does not go from August to May like the school year. RCIA is not a “one-size-fits-all” process — it is individual.
The next question posed is, “why does it take so long?” If it takes 50 hours to make a casual friend and 200 hours to become a close friend, that is why RCIA also takes so long. — you are building a friendship, a relationship with Jesus Christ. The RCIA is a formation process, as well as an information process. The vision for the RCIA team, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is to help people want to become true disciples, true close friends of Jesus Christ, active, participating members of the mystical Body of Christ.
For someone who has not been previously baptized, the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has recommended a year in the catechetical (teaching) process. We have an Inquiry session at present for people who may come into the Church at the Easter Vigil in 2020. For someone who has been baptized in another faith, has knowledge of the scriptures, and has an existing prayer life, the process need not take a full year. It is different for each indivdiual.
We attend the 9:30 am Mass together each Sunday because regular Sunday Mass attendance is what Catholics do — not out of obligation — but out of a desire to be fed for the journey that lies ahead for the coming week. We know that the Eucharist (the Body and Blood of Christ) strengthens us in any trials that we may face and so we return the following week to be strengthened again and again and again.
Because we cannot invite those who are not in full communion with us to come to the table to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ, the priest will dismiss us after we have heard the scriptures proclaimed and after the homily (sermon). We meet to "break open" the scriptures that we have heard at the Table of the Word. We feast on God's word. It is during this time, hopefully, we grow in our friendship with Jesus. After this, there may be a teaching on prayer, the sacraments, morality, conversion, the things that make us Catholic.
We ask you to pass this information on to anyone you know who may be thinking about the Catholic faith. Any questions will be gladly answered by Margaret, 859-512-8629, or Pat, 859-342-8080.