The Heart of Faith

The Heart of Faith

A Field Guide for Catechumens and Candidates

by Nick Wagner

“Becoming Catholic is a process of falling in love. The person we’re falling in love with, over and over again, more and more deeply, is Jesus Christ. To become Catholic, you have to open your heart to the love Jesus has for you and return that love as best you can.”

So begins The Heart of Faith, where catechumens and baptized candidates quickly learn that Jesus Christ will be their focus throughout their journey through the catechumenate. They will learn what they need to do to become Catholic too, of course, as they discern, pray, worship, break open the Word, and try to live their daily lives as followers of Christ.

They will learn in particular what living the way of Christ looks like.

The author says it involves these four things:

  • A conversion of mind and heart
  • An understanding of what the Church teaches;
  • A loving heart;
  • A true desire to be initiated (or received into full communion).

He guides catechumens and baptized candidates through the entire process of preparing for initiation or reception into full communion. Wagner  covers the major rites (e.g. the Rite of Acceptance, the Rite of Election, the Scrutinies) as well as keeping Lent, celebrating the Triduum,  and life after baptism.

This is a warm and wonderful companion for parish catechumens and baptized candidates, one they will value and treasure long after they become Catholics.

Nick Wagner is author of the award-winning book The Way of Faith: A Field Guide for the RCIA Process (Twenty-Third Publications). He is also the cofounder of, an online resource for parishes.


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