I am Deacon Peter Barbernitz, D.Min. I am the Associate for Evangelization at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Columbia MD.
A significant part of my job description includes being the responsible person for helping people transition into St. John’s. That means that I help run the R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) for our parish – with the help of an extraordinary team.
Team members include Susan Castellan, JoAnn Harvin-Chin, and Raphael Aguon.
RCIA is a process. This process, used by the Catholic church in ancient times, fell out of favor centuries ago but was restored to the church by the Second Vatican Council. This process is a blending of liturgical rituals, teaching, discussing, and experiencing our faith and our community. It takes however long it takes for each person who participates in it.
I have a B.A. in Theology from Loyola University of Maryland, an M.A. in Religious Education from the Ecumenical Institute of Theology / St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, an M.A. in Theology (also from the EI), and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria VA.
While I have studied a lot I still have a lot to learn. Sometimes I make mistakes. While I always try to write and speak from the heart of our Catholic tradition I may sometimes accidentally miscommunicate that tradition. Please let me know if you think I have done so and I will do my best to make things right.