After 30 years of operation, the North American Forum on the Catechumenate will be dissolved as a not-for-profit organization on June 30, the Board of Directors has decided. This decision is made with the agreement of Jim Schellman, executive director of the Forum.
Forum has been struggling financially in recent years because of diocesan office consolidations, staff reductions, and budget cuts. Its 2013 budget projected 38 institutes, but only 17 institutes have been booked for 2013, and one institute has already been cancelled. This has meant a significant drop in income.
Webinars in May and June will take place as scheduled, as will the Pittsburgh and Knoxville institutes in June. It is hoped that conferences already scheduled will take place under diocesan leadership if this can be worked out with dioceses. All institutes scheduled after June 30 are cancelled, and all registration fees and deposits are being refunded.
Forum and its Team members have given shape, direction, and energy to our experience of Christian initiation in the United States and Canada. The expertise that Forum has provided and fostered since its founding continues to bear fruit through the writing and activities of its Team members, through the ministry of diocesan leaders who cosponsored and promoted Forum institutes, and through many thousands who have taken part in Forum’s learning opportunities over the years. Board members remain confident that Forum Team members, diocesan leaders, and others committed to the full implementation of the RCIA will find new and creative ways to continue the mission that commenced in Estes Park, Colorado, and Calgary, Alberta, 31 years ago.
The Board of Directors of the North American Forum on the Catechumenate is Steven R. Janco (Chair), Sandra Dooley (Treasurer), Michelle Miller (Secretary), Priscilla Lemire RJM, Rosanne Belpedio CSJ, Rita Thiron, and Catherine Ecker.