The symbolic importance of the RCIA dismissal
There are two dismissals in the Sunday liturgy. The one Catholics are most familiar with is the second one, the dismissal of the faithful at the end of Mass. The other is becoming better known. That is the dismissal of the catechumens at the end of the Liturgy of the Word. Both dismissals are sometimes misunderstood.

It is a common misperception that the dismissal of the faithful at the end of Mass is a type of "goodbye." The Mass is over. Go now. We’ll see you next week. Most RCIA team members, however, know that the final dismissal is more of a beginning than an ending. In a sense, the whole liturgy builds up to the moment of the dismissal. What we do at Mass prepares us to be dismissed as missionaries or apostles to the world.

A powerful conversion process for baptized candidates in the RCIA
Here is a quote that might surprise you:

If the eucharist is to be celebrated, the catechumens are normally dismissed at this point…

Why is that surprising, you might wonder. Isn’t it normal to dismiss catechumens before the Eucharist? It is surprising, for some of us, because the statement comes at the end of the combined Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens and the Rite of Welcoming Baptized Candidates (see RCIA 528).

If we have just celebrated this rite, it means we have standing before the assembly a group of baptized candidates and unbaptized catechumens. The RCIA expects us to dismiss the catechumens, but it says nothing about dismissing the candidates. Did the rite perhaps mean to imply that the candidates would also be dismissed?

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Did you know that Nick and Diana are in Panama?

We've been in the country of Panama in Panama City for the past two months studying Spanish! And we have one more month to go! We're hoping that we can improve our Spanish so that we can begin to provide some assistance for our Spanish-speaking communities. We can't guarantee we'll be fluent after only three months of study and practice, but we are so grateful for all your well-wishes, prayers, and blessings for this endeavor.

We've been posting videos throughout our stay on the TeamRCIA Facebook page. But even if you're not on Facebook or even if you don't have a Facebook account you can still enjoy these TeamRCIA video updates from Panama at the links below. You don't have to sign up for Facebook; just click the play button for each video. We'll post links to more video updates in our weekly newsletters.

What you’re saying about TeamRCIA

Dear Diana and Nick,

We had a RCIA team meeting last night and it feels GREAT to have people willing to walk with our candidates and catechumens who actually have an understanding of this model!  Thank you SO much for all your support, your work is already having a tremendous impact on our community.

Emily Burt
St. Mary Immaculate Parish

RCIA resource highlight

Your Parish Is the Curriculum: RCIA in the Midst of the Community

Diana Macalintal

We all agree that the community needs to be involved in the RCIA. So we make bulletin and Mass announcements explaining the rites and the RCIA process, hoping the parishioners will "get" their responsibility to initiate these seekers. Then, although catechumens, candidates, sponsors, and team members form a tight-knit community, parishioners still wonder who these people are with their rituals that make the Mass long, and most of the newly initiated still disappear from the parish after Easter.

Taking to heart what the United States bishops said in their document on adult faith formation—"While the parish may have an adult faith formation program, it is no less true that the parish is an adult faith formation program"—Diana Macalintal argues that we have to stop trying to get the parish involved in the RCIA and start getting the catechumens and candidates involved in the parish.

In this book, readers will discover:
  • why doing the RCIA in the midst of the community not only forms seekers into disciples but renews the conversion of the entire parish
  • what parishioners can do to take responsibility for the initiation of adults, without adding another meeting to their lives
  • how to use the four key areas of parish life and the liturgical year to introduce seekers to Christ and train them in the Christian way of life
  • the three levels of catechesis and how to use mystagogical reflection on parish life to provide a systematic and complete catechesis appropriate for each level.

    When you make your parish the RCIA curriculum, you will be shaping not just a group of people but an entire community into lifelong disciples.

    In Your Parish is the Curriculum: RCIA In the Midst of the Community Diana Macalintal offers a practical and engaging vision for parishes as communities of discipleship that accompany people at all stages of their faith journey through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. In an accessible and down-to-earth manner she outlines principles, suggestions and ideas to help parishes-both those who are new to the RCIA process and those who are veterans-to facilitate and foster conversion. —Julianne Stanz, Director of New Evangelization, Diocese of Green Bay

    Your price: $19.95 $18.95

    A complete catechesis for Christian life
    Free sample of Faith, Life & Creed
    Click button to learn more
    Resources for your team
    Mystagogy of the Eucharist: A Resource for Faith Formation
    Gilbert Ostdiek, OFM

    Price: $14.20
    The Work of Your Hands: Prayers for Ordinary and Extraordinary Moments of Grace
    Diana Macalintal

    Price: $7.95 $7.55
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    Photo credits: NASA | Unsplash; "Change And Same Switch" by Stuart Miles |
    Contact us
    Nick Wagner

    Diana Macalintal

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