Catechumens, candidates take steps to join the Church Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Mar. 03, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
rite of election
Christopher Black, a candidate from St. Peter Parish in Madison seeking the Sacraments of Confirmation and the Eucharist, shakes hands with Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at St. John the Baptist Church in Waunakee on February 14. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

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WAUNAKEE -- At the conclusion of Lent, nearly 140 people are going to become new members of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Madison.

Despite a snowstorm that made the roads a little challenging to travel on, most of these candidates and catechumens took their next steps toward joining the Church at the annual Rite of Election and Continuing Call to Conversion.

It took place at St. John the Baptist Church in Waunakee on February 14.

This part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) typically takes place on the first Sunday of Lent.

The RCIA is the process through which adults are introduced to the Catholic faith and become members of the Church. This will happen at the Easter Vigil Mass at their respective parishes.

This year there are 33 catechumens (elect), or those who are not yet baptized and will receive the Sacraments of Initiation -- Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. There are 104 candidates -- those who have been baptized Christian, but are seeking the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation.

A special day

It was a special day for candidate Bryant Kearney, from Blessed Trinity Parish in Lodi.

Earlier in the day, his daughter Colette was baptized at St. Patrick Church Lodi.

“I’m excited,” said Kearney. “I feel like I’m ready for it. I’ve been attending Masses with my wife for about the past few years and I’m excited to be a full member of the Catholic Church with my family.”

During his homily, Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison reflected on Lent as a time of temptation and “training for battle,” not unlike when Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days.

“The more temptations you have, the more God is calling you to be trained and disciplined to grow in holiness,” Bishop Morlino said.

“Temptation has a role to play. It is the work of the devil, but God permits it because it can be used to make you and me more holy,” the bishop added.

Coming forward

After the homily, the catechumens, candidates, and their sponsors stood up. The bishop then asked the sponsors if the catechumens and candidates were prepared to continue their journey to enter the Church. The bishop asked the catechumens and candidates if they wished to enter fully into the life of the Church. They all responded, “We do.”

As their names were called, the catechumens then came forward to offer their names for enrollment by signing the Book of the Elect. Their sponsors placed their right hand on their shoulder as they approached and shook hands with Bishop Morlino.

Next, the candidates came forward, as their names were called, to approach the bishop with their sponsors. Their sponsors also placed their right hand on the candidates’ shoulders as they approached and shook hands with Bishop Morlino.

The liturgy concluded with intercessions for the catechumens and candidates and a final blessing from Bishop Morlino.