Four ways the RCIA dismissal teaches faith

8 thoughts on “Four ways the RCIA dismissal teaches faith”

  1. Dorothy De Young

    Our parish is part of a regional RCIA process with 4 other parishes. During this session, there is a separate session for children with their own instructors. Our parish, due to the very small numbers of children, does not have our own instructor for them. Is it also mandatory that unbaptized children withing the process are to be dismissed even though there may not be an age-appropriate instructor available?

    thank you.

  2. Thanks, for this concise reminder of the meaning of the dismissal and related issues. Too often, we see parishes dismissing everyone in the RCIA (not distinguishing baptized from unbaptized) because it’s “convenient”, or not dismissing any of them for the sake of “hospitality”. When we don’t honor our rituals and symbols, they loose their meaning.

  3. Sr. Janet Schneider

    You have opened up a serious challenge for me in this article. Many years in our parish we have only one person for Baptism. If the catechumen is to be dismissed alone who will s/he share the readings with besides the catechist who leads the dismissal session? We have always dismissed candidates along with the catechemen(s).

  4. Our sole catechumen this year was very sincere and enthusiastic about completing the process and receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at the Vigil.
    On his own he attended daily Mass throughout the Lenten Season, even though he had not received any of the Sacraments.
    I fail to see the benefit of a purely symbolic ritual that required him to be dismissed following each of the Scrutinies. What followed was not a big secret to be withheld from him nor instructional for the remaining Assembly.
    I cannot imagine informing this young man that he was not welcome to attend Mass until he had completed his formation and received Baptism.

  5. I agree with Steve on this one. Often times, those in the catechumenate have been coming to mass for months if not years already – and many understand what is happening at mass as much if not moreso than some of the “cradle Catholics” that are present. The idea of dismissing them now that they have shown an interest in becoming fully initiated Catholics through baptism seems an antiquated practice that serves very little practical purpouse (other than providing a “hoop” for those to baptized to jump through).

  6. Dominic Bruno

    This past year, we received into the Church 4 catechumens:
    -a mother and two teenage sons from one family. Though unbaptized, they considered themselves Catholic, having attended Mass with their father/husband for years.
    -an unbaptized, uncatechized man.
    Right or wrong, we only offer a dismissal at one Mass, which the family couldn’t attend. The father (the Catholic one in the family) worked on Sunday and so only the 7:30 AM Mass worked in the family schedule. I choose to have them go to Mass as a family vs. be at the Mass with the dismissal.

    For the other fellow, however, the dismissal worked very well. He was faithful in attendance and an eager learner. Our dismissal is Scripture & catechetical focused, however, fitting as I understand it the intent described in the dismissal script (#67, B) “to reflect more deeply on the Word of God.”

    However, most of the parish doesn’t understand the difference between catechumen and candidate. When one highly engaged, devout, and educated parishioner asked me what the difference was, I knew we had a long way to go.

    Perhaps the problem is too few people understand or recognized the value of Baptism. Maybe because the Sacrament hasn’t been fruitfully received?

  7. One way I have dealt with children catechumens being dismissed is to enlist the help of junior high or high school aged students to lead dismissal for the children while the adults are meeting. Our set up allows both groups to meet in the same place, 2 rooms that share the same door but separate space. After some training, these older students can usually do a better job talking to kids more on their level and get a second opportunity to reflect on the readings themselves. Friends on the Way has a dismissal session included in its weekly lesson packet.

  8. I have been involved in RCIA these last two years, the director of our RCIA doesn’t believe in dismissing the catechumenate.

    While I respect that some of them may already be going to Mass, and some may have been going for years because their spouse and/or children are baptized Catholics, I don’t see why there should be a big stink about dismissing them – especially if we are dismissing them to a meeting room where we are encouraging them to think about what they’ve just witnessed, how they can take it out into the world, etc.

    Personally I am having a hard time discerning if I want to stay involved with RCIA next year, and am so distraught with the experience I had this year that I am thinking about joining another local parish. Please pray for me and my fiance, Derrick. (He was in the RCIA program this year but was told not to come back because [I] lead him to the Catholic faith.)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Enter your email address and click the button below to get started.
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?
Where can we send your free resource?

Completely transform your RCIA inquiry process with five simple questions

Wednesday, December 7, 2022
11am PST / 2pm EST


"Five Inquiry Questions that Will Shape Your Seekers' Journey of Faith"

Where can we send your free sample?

Welcome to TeamRCIA!

Meet Rita!

Where can we send your free sample?

Be sure you are doing the catechumenate right!

Do your seekers disappear after Easter?
Learn how to form Christians for life.


"RCIA's Six Keys to Making Lifelong Disciples"

Sign up today!

Join over 20,000 subscribers

Enter your email address and click the button below to get started.

Free Training Resource: What to say instead of OCIA

Enter your email address and click the button below to get started.

Creating a Catechumenal CultureAn Amazing Vision
Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping
0