New Roman Missal Transition: Leadership Lessons Learned

Now that we’ve launched this new Roman Missal in the Roman Catholic Church, it’s worth taking a quick time-out to reflect back on our experience and glean some leadership wisdom from the experience. This is what I learned from the experience, for better or worse:

  1. The transition was not as hard as we thought it would be, at least in the area I minister in. This is connected to #2.
  2. Good preparation made the transition easy. At least in my local church experience, there was good preparation that allowed the parishioners to be ready.
  3. We assumed the average person in the pew would be more affected by this shift. We thought it would be more traumatic for them, but the fact is it wasn’t, so the transition was actually easier because of that.
  4. New words, same liturgy. We still need to focus on the important aspects of liturgy: hospitality, preaching, and music. Many people come to church for those reasons, not because of the specific words we pray.
  5. It’s been harder for our brother priests than it has been on the typical lay parishioner. Why? More of their words have changed. Eucharistic prayers, collects. A lot of words have changed that the priests say. Us lay people have some changes, but they are minor. (Now just imagine if they changed the Our Father. I’m pretty sure that might have caused anarchy! Or, if I read my thoughts above, maybe not.)
  6. People are willing and able to change.  Sometimes we get this false idea that people don’t change. The fact is sometimes people don’t change. Most of the time, they do.

These lessons can help us with any major change that we desire to bring to our church as leaders. Let’s remember this so that we can more effectively lead change in the future.

What have you learned during the transition to the new Roman Missal? Take a few moments to share your comments below.

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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