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.
Diana Macalintal has served as a liturgist, musician, author, speaker, and composer for more than 25 years. She is the author of The Work of Your Hands: Prayers for Ordinary and Extraordinary Moments of Grace and Joined by the Church, Sealed by a Blessing: Couples and Communities Called to Conversion Together (Liturgical Press).
Often forgotten in discussions of evangelization is the role of the parish in forming a new way of life. Diana Macalintal's description of the parish as the curriculum for the RCIA serves as a medicine against this amnesia about the parish. Readers will discover in this book not simply an introduction to the role of the parish in the RCIA. They'll also learn a deeper appreciation for the way that the parish is the curriculum for formation in mature Christianity. Macalintal's book is an important contribution for those involved in adult formation, catechesis, and evangelization.
Timothy P. O'Malley, Academic Director, Notre Dame Center for Liturgy
Diana Macalintal lays out the Church's reasons why the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is not the task of a few but the right and duty of the whole parish community. She does this by real-life stories and examples, by helpful definitions and charts, and by connecting the RCIA rites and methods to our broader Christian tradition. This book is imbued with reasoned and practical ways for trusting Sunday, the liturgical year, real catechesis, and all the baptized parishioners to care for seekers, catechumens, and candidates who want to be faithful with us. Instead of creating new structures, she urges use of what already exists in parish life and Church structure as the way to initiate.
Eliot Kapitan, Former director of Worship and the Catechumenate in the Diocese of Springfield, Illinois
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
In this fresh take on whole-parish involvement in the RCIA process, Diana Macalintal draws upon her pastoral ministry in a variety of settings and her life experience, inviting us to consider whether RCIA takes place `in front of' or "within" our parish community. Diana provides ample material for theological reflection, but also concrete suggestions to enrich any parish's initiation ministry. Appropriate for the seasoned veteran or the "neophyte" to Christian Initiation, Your Parish Is the Curriculum will be a valued text for all who accompany new Christians on their faith journey.
Jeremy Helmes, Author of Three Great Days; Board of Directors, National Association of Pastoral Musicians; Pastoral Associate for Worship & Sacraments, St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Cincinnati, Ohio
Have you felt daunted at fully implementing the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults in your parish? When you finish Diana Macalintal's book, you'll wonder why you worried. Your Parish Is the Curriculum is a readable, concise, realistic, invigorating view of the entire formation and celebration of the RCIA. Whether you are new or experienced in this ministry, you will find fresh ideas and gain total confidence in the joyful task of helping interested adults join the Catholic family.
Fr. Paul Turner, Pastor, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Kansas City, Missouri, Director, Office of Divine Worship, Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Author of various theological and pastoral resources