Pathways for Parish Leaders

OCIA (formerly RCIA)

Whether you are new to leadership of an OCIA (formerly RCIA) program or have been welcoming catechumens into the Church for a long time, you know that one of the challenges of the program is finding trustworthy resources that will inspire and inform the people you are shepherding. The Augustine Institute is blessed and grateful to offer you a wide range of resources to form the structure of your OCIA program. Depending on the needs of your group, you have the ability to choose one resource or to use several in combination with one another. Resources include individual videos as well as those that are part of a video series; audiobooks; eBooks; a live weekly Catholic talk show; and webinars. Please read below for a description of each resource.



“I Can’t Say Enough . . .”

“I am the director of religious education at my parish and use Symbolon, Presence, Forgiven, and Beloved, among others, for my RCIA people and parts of Forgiven and Presence for my eighth and ninth graders. I can’t say enough about how much I use and how much I love the quality and integrity of what is taught in [the programs]. I think Beloved should be required for every Catholic. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

~ Kathleen, Our Lady Queen of the Apostles, Derby, CT ~


Top Recommendations for OCIA Leaders:

The Search/La Búsqueda

The Search is a kerygmatic series used effectively by OCIA coordinators during the period of inquiry phase of OCIA. Start the journey by diving into the fundamental questions of every human heart.

Available in English and Español.


Convinced: Why Would Anyone Become Catholic? is an inspirational video that highlights why others have become Catholic. It can be viewed together as a group or at home independently. Another possible use is posting a link to Convinced on the OCIA page on the parish website as an invitation to learn more about Catholic conversion confidentially.




Symbolon gives your candidates and Catechumens a systematic understanding of the Catholic faith. Designed specifically for the Catechumenate stage of OCIA, Symbolon can be particularly impactful when addressing issues of ongoing discipleship with classes approaching reception into the Church. The combination of clear catechesis and call to conversion will resonate strongly as the Easter Vigil approaches.

OCIA Symbolon Guide for Leaders

Available in English and Español.

Opening the Word

Opening the Word is complete with video reflection and discussion questions on the upcoming Sunday Gospel, to foster deep reflection as a group and individually.  One especially effective use of Opening the Word is to send its reflections to candidates via personal email on Fridays to prepare them for Sunday readings.  A key “good habit” for new Catholics is to know that they can preview Sunday readings as that day approaches, furthering their love and contemplation of the Word.


Preparation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation is an area of intense curiosity and questioning for many OCIA catechumens. Leveraging the Forgiven series for group discussion has proven to be extremely fruitful in preparing for Reconciliation.

Available in English and Español.


The ongoing centrality of the Eucharist to the faith of a new Catholic is very much worth investing an OCIA program’s time and effort. Using Presence as content for a post-Easter retreat or day of reflection helps affirm the Eucharist as the source and summit of our faith for new Catholics.

Available in English and Español.

Recommendations for Catechists:

Sacramental Preparation in the Parish

Throughout the month of February 2022, the Augustine Institute brought many experts of Sacramental Preparation from around the country to Denver to be interviewed by Professor Lucas Pollice about Sacramental Preparation in parishes and dioceses. If you are a parish leader involved in Sacramental Preparation, these episodes were created for you!

Additional Recommendations on FORMED:

ECHO (video series)—This thirty-six-part, video-based study of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA) is presented by Bishop Donald Hying of Gary, Indiana. These short and engaging videos introduce each chapter of the USCCA and provide an inspiring start to personal or group study of our rich Catholic Faith. Available in English and Español.

Our Story: A Basic Introduction to the Bible for Catholics (video series)—This series consists of five-minute video segments that present the Bible’s big picture, along with a uniquely Catholic approach to the Scriptures.

Elements of the Catholic Mass (video series)—This series consists of thirty-one short videos designed to help the faithful better appreciate the beauty of the Mass.

Catholic Answers: Ready Reasons (video series)This series includes more than thirty short videos that each discuss various topics within the Catholic faith. These concise videos are meant to start a conversation about the Catholic Faith and to lead viewers to begin their own journeys towards the truths of the Catholic Faith, or to deepen their understanding of it.

Chosen (audio book)—The pages of this audio book tell the conversion stories of twenty-three men and women who testify that Christ touched their hearts and intervened in their lives in unexpected, sometimes even miraculous, ways.

The Augustine Institute Show with Dr. Tim Gray (live weekly talk show)—This weekly Catholic talk show that brings the truth and beauty of the Gospel to Catholics all over the world. The show broadcasts live on FORMED each Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., Eastern Time.   

Truth and Life Audio Bible—The Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible New Testament is a celebrity-voiced audio drama of the entire RSV-CE New Testament. More than seventy actors help bring the Scriptures to life. 

Best Practices:   

  • Make use of the highly recommended participant guides for Symbolon, available in both paper and digital formats.  
    Click here to order. 

  • Consider ordering each catechumen a new Bible. The newly-translated English Standard Version Catholic Edition Bible (ESV-CE) includes refinements to nearly 60,000 words from the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and is the best literal translation, written in smooth and readable English. 
  • Convert drive time to faith time. Invite catechumens to listen to and read inspiring stories of conversion by some of the most soughtafter Catholic speakers of our time. A great start is Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. In this sixty-minute audio talk, Dr. Brant Pitre uses the Hebrew Scriptures and Jewish tradition to frame the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper and to provide a fresh look at the heart of Catholic practice—the Eucharist. By taking us back to the Jewish roots of our Faith, Dr. Pitre gives us a powerful lens through which to see anew the bread of the presence, the manna, the Last Supper, and ultimately, the meaning of the Eucharist. Additional suggested titles are listed below:

Why a Protestant Became Catholic (audio)—Dr. Scott Hahn

A Wife’s Journey Home (audio)—Kimberly Hahn

Gangland to Promised Land (audio)—John Pridmore

An Invitation to Consider the Catholic Faith (audio)—Fr. Francis Peffly

The Logic of Being Catholic (audio)—Dr. Ray Guarendi

Rome Sweet Home (eBook)—Dr. Scott Hahn and Kimberly Hahn

Something Other Than God (eBook)—Jennifer Fulwiler

Not God’s Type (eBook)—Holly Ordway

Webinars for OCIA Leaders:



Forgiven Testimonial

I just wanted to say we purchased this program the year it became available. I use it for RCIA, as well as parent gatherings in preparation for First Reconciliation. Parents view the first three sessions, and the children view session 4. It is a wonderful presentation of the sacrament.

Ann, Prince of Peace Church, Philadelphia, PA

Absolutely stunning…. I felt the presence of God while watching and listening. I wish all Catholics could witness the beauty of this video.

        Rose Mary H.


Convinced Testimonial

This is a must watch for anyone beginning or considering beginning RCIA. So many of the best and brightest Catholic apologists and teachers in one place! Beautifully done.

Sandra D.

This was very inspirational. I am in RCIA classes and take my Holy Communion on the Easter Vigil this year. I have spent countless hours researching all religions and now feel fully confident about coming into the Catholic Church despite my detractors. Thank you for this presentation, it’s the end of my journey to find the truth.

       Lindsay S.


Symbolon Testimonial

Amazing program! I learned a lot and feel motivated to put into practice all the teachings of our Catholic Faith. God bless Dr. Sri, and everyone involved in Symbolon.

Veronica H.

Just completing RCIA. I had been a Protestant and before that agnostic. This series is mind blowing. It’s like scales fell from my eyes!

        Dianne M.


The Search Testimonial

Wow! What an outstanding series. Every episode got better and better. The finale was something special. So powerful and a great explanation of the Church and so accessible. Thank you!

Lauren B.

Excellent series! Presented in such a way that it should speak to the “searchers”, among us. Also those “cradle Catholics” who may have lost sight of the power and beauty of the Faith, and even to those who may classify themselves as “nones”, thinking they are satisfied in their non-belief. Thank you for such a moving, powerful and effective message. To paraphrase Joan of Arc, “I know this, the Church and Jesus Christ are but one thing.”

        Paula L.


Presence Testimonial

I am wowed by the breakdown in this video, “context is everything”. Thank you so much for this work, as this boosts my understanding and my belief in Jesus in the Eucharist.

Robert S.

What’s Your Story?

Tell us your experience with using FORMED resources for OCIA