Monday, March 2, 2009
The 11 a.m. Mass on the First Sunday of Lent at St. Paul was an important day for seven who have been preparing for weeks in RCIA (The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults). It is called The Rite of Election.”
“The Rite of Election” is celebrated on the same day at all Dioceses in the world. Those wishing to be Baptized or Received in to Full Communion of the Catholic Church come together to officially enter their names in the "Book of the Elect," which signifies their intention to be initiated at the Easter Vigil.
Last year there were 3,000 in Cleveland Public Hall for the ceremony at which Bishop Richard G. Lennon presided. There were 327 catechumens and 526 candidates from 111 parishes.
This year the ceremony was held at St. Paul to provide a more intimate, closer, parish-like atmosphere.
“Conversion happens if the parish fully embraces the process of initiation and walks the journey of faith with the candidates for initiation,” said Deacon Frank Lonteen who has been meeting each week with the candidates.
At Sunday’s Mass there were seven who entered their names in the “Book of the Elect” to signify their intention to be intiated at the Easter Vigil. The parish welcomes those to be baptizes as children of God as well as those who have already been baptized but seek full communion of the Catholc Church.
The photo here shows one of the seven, Amy Linn, signing the book
The candidates included Amy Linn, Debbie Parker, Heather Parker and Nicol Russell and catechumens Joshua Rouse, Alexis Rouse and Kenneth Finnegan.
As part of the ceremony Deaon Lonteen announced to the parishioners:
“These Catechumens whom I now present to you have completed their period of preparation.
They have found strength in God’s grace, And support in our community’s prayer and example.”
The seven received congratulations from the pastor, the Rev. Fr. Ralph W. Thomas, who praised the efforts of the seven, Deacon Lonteen and parishioners involved.