Who are we

CIAN's Executive Committee

A community of RCIA practitioners seeking to draw people to Christ.

We are a group of RCIA practitioners representing the diocesan and parish levels of the RCIA ministry. We seek to support parishes in accompanying adults through the RCIA process to arrive at union of Jesus Christ through the sacraments of initiation, along with other liturgical rites, prayer, catechesis, and pastoral support. We consider the RCIA process as central in the parish mission of making adult disciples of Jesus Christ and intentional members of the Church.

Our ministry of service

Meet our executive committee members

Dr. Christine Wood


Dr. Christine Wood is the Director of the Office of Evangelisation & Catechesis in the Archdiocese of Hobart. She works to develop the RCIA and sacramental preparation processes in parishes, and forms parishioners to be missionary disciples for evangelisation and catechetical ministry. Christine is committed to helping Catholics to become biblically literate, with Christ-like hearts, and a sacramental worldview. Christine has been a member of the CIAN Executive for four years, and Chair for the last two years. She holds a Doctorate in Theology from Marquette University and MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Lisa McKerr


Lisa McKerr works for the Archdiocese of Brisbane as a Project Officer at Evangelisation Brisbane on the Adult Formation team. With a passion for leading people to God, Lisa is the key author of ‘Crossroads RCIA’, the RCIA resource for young people aged 9 to 16. Lisa has worked extensively in parishes as a Pastoral Associate, RCIA Coordinator and Sacramental Coordinator. She is the Chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops Council for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry and the Secretary of the Archdiocesan Catechumenate Committee. Lisa is currently completing a Master of Theological Studies and  has a deep commitment to promoting RCIA and Evangelisation in the Archdiocese. Lisa has served as a member of the CIAN Executive for the last two years.

Dr. Carmel Suart


Dr. Carmel Suart is the Director for the Office of Christian Initiation for the Archdioceses of Perth. She has been involved with the training  and formation of  Catechists for both Adults and for the Parish Religious Education of children.  Carmel has been responsible for the writing of two Religious Education programmes for primary aged children for the Archdiocese of Perth. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her  34 years involvement with RCIA both in the parish and at a diocesan level.  She has  background in primary teaching, holding a Bachelor of Education, a Masters in Religious Education in speciality area Sacraments of Initiation and a Ed.D in the area of family catechesis. Currently she is working towards her Masters  in Canon Law, St Paul, Ottawa.

Stewart Bazzica

Stewart has been involved for over twenty years with RCIA at both the diocesan and national level. He has been on the CIAN executive for the past two years, and has served as previous past Chairman and Vice Chairman of the CIAN. Stewart has maintained CIAN’s website.

Kathy Horan

Kathy is the RCIA Coordinator for the Adelaide Archdiocese, supporting Baptism Teams in parishes and coordinating Adult Confirmation groups. Prior to this role, Kathy worked extensively in Catholic schools in South Australia as Religious Education Consultant with the CEO, as teacher, REC, school leader and active member of a Parish Sacrament Team. A major focus for many years has been working with families across parish and school to prepare children for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Initiation. Kathy is a writer and author of the ‘Becoming Catholic’ Sacrament series and has served as a member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, recently taking up the role of Chair of the Commission. She holds a Master of Theology degree and graduate diploma in Religious Education, and Certificate in Pastoral Liturgy. Kathy has been a member of the CIAN Executive for the last four years.

Br. Bernard Fonkalsrud

Br. Bernard Mary Fonkalsrud OFM Conv. is the former Sacramental Life & RCIA Coordinator for the Broken Bay Diocese in NSW. He has spent many years involved in the children’s parish sacramental program, as a catechist in public schools, and for the last six years has grown to love the opportunity to journey with and catechise adults who are discerning their way to Jesus and the Catholic Church. Br. Bernard has been involved in RCIA at both the parish and diocesan level. He has experience in youth ministry, and high school teaching. Br. Bernard’s passion for sharing his faith and love of God and the Church has led him to dedicate his energies to evangelisation and catechesis. He holds a Graduate Diploma of Theology and a Master of Church History.

Claire Schwantes

Ex office member

Clare has a Masters of Theological Studies (Liturgy), Bachelors of Education and Arts (Psychology), diplomas in Editing and Publishing, and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Queensland. She is the chief editor for Liturgy Brisbane and prepares their annual publications: Ordo, Daily Mass Book, Break Open the Word and We Pray As One. She manages the development and content of Liturgy Brisbane’s electronic liturgy preparation program, Liturgia, and continues to work towards the ongoing evolution of this resource. Clare is a member of the editorial board for the quarterly journal Liturgy News as well as a contributing author. She co-authored Liturgy Brisbane’s sacramental preparation resources for children, Our Family Prepares, and was a member of the editorial group for Crossroads, the recently released resource on Christian Initiation for Young People. Clare is a member of the Archdiocesan Catechumenate Committee, the Archdiocesan Commission on the Liturgy and a member of the National Liturgical Council.

Simon Yeak

Ex. Member

As the Sacramental Life and RCIA Coordinator at Life, Marriage & Family Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Simon provides RCIA support and formation to parishes in the Archdiocese. He coordinates the annual Rite of Election and Paschal Eucharist with his Life, Marriage & Family team. He has prepared the RCIA resource entitled, ‘Catholic Mass Book’, and facilitates a biannual Archdiocesan online RCIA Certification Course comprising six intensive session on the RCIA journey in parishes. Simon holds a MA in Theology for the New Evangelisation from the Augustine Institute, Denver.

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