Nearly 840 people will enter the Catholic Church this Easter in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. A total of 839 catechumens (the unbaptized) and candidates (already Baptized in another Christian Church) will participate in the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion Sunday, February 21 at the following three locations throughout the Archdiocese:
Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore, 3:00 PM
St. Ann, Hagerstown, 3:00 PM
St. John Neumann, Annapolis, 3:00 PM
For the catechumens, the Rite of Election closes the lengthy period of formation. It marks the beginning of the period of final, more intense preparation for the sacraments of initiation.
At this time, on the basis of the testimony of godparents and catechists and of the catechumens’ reaffirmation of their intention, the Church judges their state of readiness and decides on their advancement toward the sacraments of initiation. Thus the Church makes its “election”, that is, the choice and admission of those catechumens who are ready to receive the sacraments of initiation.
The days of Lent are the final period of purification and enlightenment leading up to the celebration of initiation at the Easter Vigil. During the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday, the catechumen will receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
For candidates for reception into the full communion with the Catholic Church and for candidates preparing for Confirmation and Eucharist, it is the Rite of the Call to Continuing Conversion. They, too, are affirmed by their sponsors and recognized by the Church.
For more information, go to www.archbalt.org and click on Evangelization and Catechesis.