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More than 1,000 prepare to join church at Easter

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Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr presided at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion Feb, 17 at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Dayton
Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr presided at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion Feb. 17 at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Dayton. (CT Photo/Jeff Unroe)

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati celebrated the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion Feb. 17 with 1,023 adults and children seeking entrance into the Roman Catholic Church.

The Rite of Election is celebrated with adults and children who are unbaptized and preparing to receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.  The Call to Continuing Conversion is celebrated with those already baptized, but desiring to be received into the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, baptized Catholics who are completing their initiation through the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist are also called to continuing conversion at this celebration.

The Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion marks the beginning of the season of Lent. This season of the church year is dedicated in a particular way to the final preparation period of these men, women, and children as they prepare to enter the church.

The term “election” refers to the fact that God has chosen these catechumens for membership into Christ’s body. During this public celebration, the church discerns their readiness and affirms their intention to advance toward the Easter Sacraments.

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The presentation of the Catechumens with their godparents. Bishop Joseph R. Binzer presiding.
Bishop Joseph R. Binzer presides during the presentation of the Catechumens with their godparents. (CT Photo/Colleen Kelley)

Nearly 4,000 catechumens, candidates, parish members, family and friends will gather for these rites that mark this step on the journey of faith. These gatherings are one way in which the archbishop and auxiliary bishop can be involved in the initiation process of these soon to be Catholics.  Also, it is an opportunity for those involved in the initiation process to experience a sense of being incorporated into the larger Roman Catholic community.

This year there were four celebrations on Sunday, Feb. 17, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, Cincinnati, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Binzer presiding, and 3:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Dayton, Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr presiding. Parishes were assigned to a particular celebration according to the deanery in which they are located.

As the Roman Catholic Church of Cincinnati celebrates God’s election and calling of these catechumens and candidates, let us pray that they, who have responded to the call of God in Christ, may continue to be about the word and work of Christ in the world.

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