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

Chair

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

Secretary

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.

Fr Andrew Doohan

Fr Andrew Doohan is a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, currently serving as Parish Priest of Dungog & Gresford, and has been involved in the ministry of Christian Initiation at a parish and diocesan level for many years both before and after ordination. Andrew is currently the Chair of the Diocesan Liturgy Council and, in that role, is assisting the diocese and parishes to revisit their understanding of the ministry of Christian Initiation as central to their lives and mission. Andrew holds a Master of Theology degree and a Master of Arts (Liturgy) and is continuing his studies in liturgical fields.

Max Norden

Treasurer

Max Norden has been active in RCIA ministry at the parish and diocesan level for 20 years. He is the coordinator of RCIA for the Wollongong Diocese and the Sound Editor of The Journey Catholic Radio, Wollongong.

Clare Schwantes

Ex officio member

Dr Clare Schwantes was appointed Director at Liturgy Brisbane in 2023 after fulfilling the role of Editor since 2012. She prepares annual publications such as the Ordo and the Daily Mass Book on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, as well as Break Open the Word and Praying Together with Young People. She is also responsible for the design and ongoing evolution of the electronic liturgy planning program, Liturgia, which is used widely in schools and parishes around Australia. Clare has a PhD from the University of Queensland, a Master of Theological Studies (Liturgy), Bachelors of Education and Psychology, and diplomas in Editing and Publishing. Clare is the Chair of the National Liturgical Council, secretary of the Brisbane Archdiocesan Commission on the Liturgy, a member of the Australian Academy of Liturgy and is on the editorial board of the quarterly journal, Liturgy News.

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