Rite of Christian Initiation Track

Providing preparation for all those involved in assisting the conversion process of newcomers to the Catholic Faith, this comprehensive training program offers the methodological, philosophical, and doctrinal topics essential to the evangelization and catechesis of those investigating and approaching membership in the Catholic Faith. Believing that the most significant factor in this process of conversion is the passing on the witness of a faith lived out, Franciscan University has committed itself to assisting in the preparation of men and women equal to the catechumenal task. While presenting a systematic doctrinal foundation coming directly from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this track also includes the following: Scripture, the conversion process, liturgy, catechesis, pastoring, and the stages of the catechumenal process. Workshops on evangelism, canon law, and the catechumenate for children and adolescents will also be offered.

2018 Rite of Christian Initiation Track Workshops:

Year 1:

Three Approaches to the RCIA Process

The Catechumenate: A Modern Restoration of an Ancient Practice

Liturgical Components of the Christian Initiation Process

Catechesis: Echoing What God has Revealed

Catechetical Components of the Christian Initiation Process

The Challenge of Charity: Life in God’s Family

Pastoral Components of the Christian Initiation Process

Year 2:

The Catechists: Witness to the Truth

Sacred Scripture: The Big Picture

Analyzing Doctrine

Revelation, Grace and the Response of Faith: God’s Methodology

Creating an Environment for Conversion: Developing a Team

Companions on the Journey: Godparents and Sponsors

Track Presenters

Patty Norris, Track Coordinator, is the director of Religious Education at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Milford, Ohio. Involved in adult formation for many years, she specializes in the RCIA process as a speaker and seminar director for the Association for Catechumenal Ministries (ACM). As a speaker, consultant, and writer for ACM, she has served many dioceses in the United States and abroad. As a director of Religious Education, she is responsible for all adult formation. With her husband, Gary, she coordinates the RCIA track at the St. John Bosco Conference. They have 6 children and 11 grandchildren.


Gary Norris, Track Coordinator, has led RCIA teams for the past 25 years in the Archdiocese of Denver, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. He studied theology and catechetics at the Maryvale Institute and has certification in RCIA from the St. John Bosco Conference. Gary is a currently the chairman of the Association of Catechumenal Ministry and serves ACM as a presenter for team training and catechist training. Gary works with his wife, Patty, together coordinating the St. John Bosco RCIA track for the past 10 years. They have 6 children and 11 grandchildren.


Marc Cardaronella is director of the Office of Discipleship and Faith Formation for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri. He graduated from Franciscan University with a master’s degree in theology and catechetics and served for 12 years as a parish director of religious education. Marc is the author of Keep Your Kids Catholic: Sharing Your Faith and Making It Stick from Ave Maria Press. His articles have appeared in CATECHIST, The Catechetical Review, and numerous websites including Amazing Catechist, CatholicMom.com, The Big Pulpit, and National Catholic Register. Marc writes about evangelization, catechesis, and faith-parenting on his personal blog, MarcCardaronella.com.


Bill Keimig is the assistant director of the Catechetical Institute at Franciscan University. For 15 years, he served as DRE at St. Mary’s of Piscataway in Clinton, Maryland, and served for nine years as director of the Association for Catechumenal Ministry (ACM). He has served as a speaker in many settings in over 30 dioceses. Bill holds master’s degrees in public management from the University of Maryland and in theology from Franciscan University and is completing a doctorate at The Catholic University of America. He and his wife, Heather, have six children, Rose, William, Julianna, Theodore, Elizabeth, and Gregory.


Drake McCalister is the coordinator of the catechetical practicum for the Office of Catechetics at Franciscan University. In addition to his work at Franciscan, Drake is the director of RCIA for Franciscan and oversees the EDGE youth group, along with writing and speaking. Previously, Drake was a Pentecostal pastor in the Foursquare Church for 13 years (1991-2004), but after five years of study, prayer, and reluctance, he resigned his pastorate and brought his wife and three daughters home to the Catholic Church on December 12, 2004 (Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe). Drake and his wife, Crystal, now have five daughters.


Scott Sollom is an assistant professor of theology at Franciscan University. He has conducted RCIA training workshops around the country and the world, including presentations with the Association for Catechumenal Ministry and Symbolon. He previously served as a DRE in Stillwater, Minnesota, and College Station, Texas, as well as a youth minister in Hudson, Wisconsin. Scott and his wife, Mary, have five children.