A LITTLE known program aimed at 13-15 year olds is slowly increasing Catholic numbers in Nambour parish.
The 12-week Rite of Communal Initiation of Youth, or RCIY, program is probably a Queensland first and evolved five years ago to meet a need among the parish’s teenage population.
Jan Imarisio, who runs RCIY, said it was originally established as an alternative to the RCIA program.
‘These are youths who have fallen through the sacramental program net or who have come to a Catholic school from a non-Catholic background.
‘We found that the RCIA program was simply too long for young people.
‘They wanted to know more about the Catholic faith but ended up dropping out of RCIA.’
Jan said the original plan was to find and run a youth based program for about six months but the parish was unable to find anything.
‘We had a youth pastoral worker who could really communicate with the students and it was her idea to put our own program together because we found six months was still too long.
‘It was then basically handed over to me.’
She said although she had a teaching background, the spiritual content was checked by parish priest, Fr Graham Gatehouse, who evolved the program even further. It had now been operating quite successfully since then.
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