February 15, 2012 // Local

Rite of Election, Call to Continuing Conversion to be celebrated in cathedrals

The Rite of Election of Catechumens and the Call to Continuing Conversion of Candidates will be celebrated in the cathedrals of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend on the first and second Sundays of Lent.

These rites will take place in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in downtown Fort Wayne on Feb. 26, the First Sunday of Lent, at 2 p.m., and in St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend, on March 4, the Second Sunday of Lent, also at 2 p.m.

Catechumens are those unbaptized people who will be entering the Catholic Church by receiving the sacraments of initiation — Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist — at the Easter Vigil on the night of April 7. Candidates are those who are already baptized and are now preparing to complete their initiation or enter into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The catechumens and candidates come from parishes throughout the diocese. During the liturgy, each catechumen and candidate, as well as his or her godparent or sponsor, will be presented for recognition to Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, ordinary of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. All together, around 600 catechumens and candidates — along with their godparents, sponsors, families and guests — are expected to attend the liturgies.

Prior to the attending the ceremony, many of the catechumens and candidates will take part in an optional rite at their respective parishes, whereby they are official sent to forth to meet the bishop. The catechumens inscribe their names within the “Book of the Elect,” which will be presented for Bishop Rhoades to sign during the Rite of Election, in an event referred to as the Enrollment of Names. After participating in the Rite of Election, the catechumens will be referred to as the “elect,” because they will have been officially declared ready to receive the Easter sacraments this year.

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