Nearly 1,000 will join Catholic Church at Easter in diocese

More than 900 candidates and catechumens took steps toward full communion with the Catholic Church in February.

The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion was celebrated at Raleigh’s Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral on Sunday, Feb. 18, the first Sunday of Lent, for the Albemarle, Fayetteville, Raleigh and Tar River deaneries. 

(A deanery is a cluster of parishes within a diocese. The Diocese of Raleigh has eight deaneries, and each is led by a priest known as a dean.)

It was celebrated again on the second Sunday of Lent, February 25, for the Cape Fear, New Bern, Newton Grove and Piedmont deaneries. 

Both celebrations were bilingual.

The next step for those seeking full communion with the Catholic Church is the Easter Vigil, when the sacraments of initiation are bestowed with the former catechumens, who became known as the elect after the Rite of Election. At the vigil, they will receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and holy Communion.

At that same time the candidates (those who are already baptized) will celebrate confirmation and the Eucharist.

The word “election” in Rite of Election is from the literal translation of the Latin word for "chosen."

Those entering the Church do so through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. The program takes place over months as those seeking communion with the Church take classes, attend Mass and pray with their friends, family members and sponsors. 

Read about one couple joining the church this Easter in the NC Catholics magazine.