February 14, 2013
Bishop McManus to Welcome Hundreds on Road of Initiation February 14, 2013, WORCESTER, MA -- This Sunday afternoon at 3 PM at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of the Diocese of Worcester, will welcome over one hundred adults and older children who have responded to the movement of the Spirit and are seeking membership in the Catholic Church. After receiving testimony from their godparents, the Bishop will invite the candidates to confirm their desire by signing their names in the Book of Elect as part of the Rite of Election. Lent is the final stage in their preparation for the sacraments of initiation, Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation, which they will celebrate in their parishes at the Easter Vigil. This year the participants also known as catechumens or “elect” come from forty-seven parishes throughout the Diocese.
The Rite of Election is an ancient ceremony which fell into disuse during the Middle Ages. It was recovered after the Second Vatican Council and has been celebrated in the Diocese of Worcester for over twenty-five years. The Rite of Election is generally celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent.
At the same ceremony, the Bishop will also recognize about fifty baptized Christians who are seeking full communion with the Catholic Church and will celebrate their First Eucharist and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil. There are also another 100 baptized adult Catholics who never completed their initiation in their youth and will be Confirmed at a later date.
The more than 250 people who are “elect” and candidates completing their rites of initiation are participating in a ceremony being simultaneously held in dioceses around the country and the world. They are seen as a sign of vitality, growth, and hope.
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