Thursday, April 2, 2009
Tens of thousands of new Catholics are expected to join the Catholic Church in the U.S. in 2009, with many doing so at the Easter Vigil liturgies on April 11. Converts to Catholicism are known as catechumens if they have never been baptized and as candidates if they have received baptism in another Christian community and now seek full communion with the Catholic Church.
Exact figures for the Cleveland Diocese are not completed yet, but in 2008 there were 711 catechumens and 578 converts or 1,289 who joined the Church. St. Paul Parish this year will welcome 3 catechumens and 7 candidates.
There were 7.483 infant baptisms in the Cleveland Diocese in 2008 and .at St. Paul from last April until April of this year there were 37 linfant baptisms.
The Archdiocese of Atlanta, where Catholics have traditionally been a minority, estimates that 513 catechumens and 2,195 candidates will enter the Catholic Church in 2009, about 1,800 doing so at Easter. The figures do not include infant baptisms.
The Archdiocese of Seattle will reportedly welcome 736 catechumens and 506 candidates, while the Diocese of San Diego will baptize 305 and receive into communion 920 other baptized Christians.
The mostly rural Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama reportedly will have 445 new converts. The diocese’s Cathedral of St. Paul could not hold them and their families for the Rite of Election, which had to be held in three separate ceremonies.
At St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, California resident Heidi Sierras will represent North America at the Easter Vigil, where she will be baptized by Pope Benedict XVI.
Nationwide, the 2008 Official Catholic Directory lists 49,415 adult baptisms and 87,363 people coming into full communion which is a decrease over the previous year. .Here is the breakdown of five years::
* 2004: 76,829 adult baptisms, 75,429 received into full communion
* 2005: 73,405 adult baptisms, 81,720 received into full communion
* 2006: 80,817 adult baptisms, 73,684 received into full communion
* 2007: 62,464 adult baptisms, 92,975 received into full communion
* 2008; 49,415 adult baptisms, 87,363 received into full communion
Posted by Harry Liggett at 1:30 PM