National Gathering on Christian Initiation Hero Image

The National Gathering on Christian Initiation™ invites parish leaders, initiation ministers, and regional or diocesan trainers to come together to explore the theoretical and practical aspects of initiation ministry. Through interactive sessions, meetings, and prayer opportunities, participants will understand more deeply that the vision of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the vision of the parish as a community of disciples.

The National Gathering on Christian Initiation™ offers two tracks. Parish and Diocesan Leaders and Initiation Catechists, offered in English and Spanish, will gain practical skills, discuss common challenges, and share best practices to enrich their work. An optional pre-gathering forum will be available on July 1, 2020 and will explore "Catechesis of the Good Shepherd: Insights for RCIA Adapted for Children." This forum is free for participants but has a limited number of seats-register today!

What's New This Year

• Tracks in English and Spanish!


Registration for National Gathering on Christian Initiation™ is now. If you have any questions, please contact us at 800-933-1800. For more information, click here to download an informational borchure.

Early Bird Registration, by February 26, 2020        $200
General Registration, by May 8, 2020            $250

Group Rate: Parishes or Dioceses that register 4+ people $25 discount each registration
Includes lunch for July 2nd & 3rd.

July 1st Opening Reception        $35
Optional. Includes an open bar. Limited registration.


All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted in writing (letter, fax, or e-mail) by Monday, June 1, 2020 for a full refund or by Wednesday, June 15, 2020 for a 75% refund. Cancellation requests after Wednesday, June 15, 2020 will not receive a refund.

Lodging and Accommodations

For more information on hotels, visit

A limited number of rooms are available at the Hampton Inn Chicago North – Loyola Station at a discounted rate of $149.00 per night. This rate is available for those who book before June 3, 2020 for the evenings of July 1st - July 3rd. To reserve a room at the Hampton Inn Loyola Station, please call 800-426-7866 and mention NGCI 20 or visit

The Theme for 2020 is The RCIA Adapted for Children

Children of varying ages and wide range of faith development come to us seeking Christian initiation. How do we minister to these children and their families? What is the best way to offer each child appropriate catechesis and formation in Christian life? How do we receive children who have been baptized in other Christian traditions into the full comminion of the Catholic Church? Join us at the 2020 National Gathering on Christian Initiation™ to find the answers to these and many other questions and to discover parish-tested practices for dealing with diverse pastoral situations.

Goals of the Gathering

  • Participants will deepen their understanding of the Church's vision of the baptismal catechumenate as outlined in Part II.1 of the RCIA ritual text (RCIA adapted for children of catechetical age).
  • Participants will examine the role of the parish community, the family, companions, and sponsors in order to discern best practices for forming and engaging each group throughout the initiation process.
  • Participants will explore various models of implementing and RCIA process adapted for children and will develop an initial implementation plan.
  • Participants will learn models for effective catechesis and formation of children in the initiation process.



The National Gathering on Christian Initiation™ offers two tracks. Parish and Diocesan Leaders and Initiation Catechists, offered in English and Spanish, will gain practical skills, discuss common challenges, and share best practices to enrich their work.


July 1, 2020
3 PM - 5 PMOptional Pre-Gathering
(Limited Registrations)
Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
Insights for RCIA Adapted for Children
7 PM - 9 PMOpening Reception
Optional. Tickets are $35. Includes open bar.
July 2, 2020
8:00 AM - 8:50 AMRegistration
9:00 - 9:30Welcome, Morning Prayer, Introductions
9:30 - 10:15General Session
What are we now?
Evaluating the US Landscapes and Assesing the Needs of Your Community
10:15 - 10:30Break
10:30 - 11:30General Session
Christian Initiation of Children:
A Vision for Catechetical Ministry
11:30 AM - 12:15 PMGeneral Session
Forming Parents as Primary Carechists
12:15 - 1:15Lunch Included in registration
1:15 - 2:30Breakout
Parish and Diocesan Leaders
Models of Implementation
Initiation Catechists
The Role of the Catechist (part 1)
Providing Suitable Catechesis
2:30 - 3:00Coffee Break
3:00 - 4:15Breakout Session
Parish and Diocesan Leaders
Structuring a Parish Approach or "Program"
Initition Catechists
The Role of the Catechist (part 2)
Incorporating the Christian Way of Life, Suitable Liturgical Rites, and Apostolic Witness
4:15 - 4:30Break
4:30 - 5:15General Session
Your Role in the Liturgical Rites of the RCIA
5:30- 6:00Ritual Celebration
6:00 PMEnd of Day
Dinner and evening on your own
July 3, 2020
8:00 AM - 8:50 AMOptional Morning Session
Q+A panel with NGCI Team
9:00 - 9:30Morning Prayer and Announcements
9:30 - 10:30General Session
Involving Companions and Sponsors in the Initiation Process
10:30 - 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30Training Exercise
Planning for Whole Family Catechesis
12:30 - 1:30Lunch Included in registration
1:30 - 3:00General Session
Initiation of Children in Multicultural Communities
3:00 - 3:30Closing and Prayer


The 2020 NGCI Team

Each year, a different team of presenters will work together with an LTP representative to plan the major presentations and breakout sessions of the event. Team members have been invited, not only because of their understanding of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and the Church’s mission of evangelization, but also because of their vast parish and diocesan experience. As a true collaboration, the individual gifts and ministerial experience of each team member will shape the NGCI experience.


Rita Burns Senseman

Rita Burns Senseman

Rita Burns Senseman is the pastoral associate and director of religious education at St. Benedict Parish in Terre Haute, Indiana. She is the coauthor of Guide to Celebrating Christian Initiation with Children (LTP 2017) and several other books and resources

Sr. Sandy DeMasi

Sr. Sandy DeMasi

Sr. Sandy DeMasi, SSJ, serves as director of liturgy and worship at Saint Rose of Lima Parish, Short Hills, NJ. Her doctor of ministry degree is from the Catholic University of America and her treatise was titled The Faith and Formation of Adults Who Bring Children for Baptism: A Plan of Liturgy and Catechesis.

Michael Ruzicki

Michael Ruzicki

Michael Ruzicki author of Guide for Training Initiation Ministers: An Introduction to the RCIA (LTP, 2018) is the training and events manager at Liturgy Training Publications and the director of music for St. John Berchmans Parish. Previously, he served as a parish pastoral associate and diocesan coordinator of adult and sacramental formation in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He is a former team member of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate.

Rev. James Burkart

Rev. James Burkart

Rev. James Burkart assists with the Christian initiation process of children and adults at Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Spring, Texas, where he serves as the pastor. The chair of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, he does presentations in English and Spanish at classes, workshops, and missions. His master's degree in liturgical studies is from the University of Notre Dame. Fr. Burkart will be presenting in both the English and Spanish Tracks.