Nearly 500 people from around the diocese gathered at Westminster Cathedral on 17th and 18th February to celebrate the Rite of Election and call to continuing conversion, a key milestone in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Cardinal Vincent presided over the liturgy, along with Bishops John Sherrington, Nicholas Hudson, Paul McAleenan and John Wilson, and many Deans from the diocese.
During the Rite of Election the Cardinal declared over 200 catechumens to be ready and to have been chosen by the community, as the Elect, to go forward to prepare for the Sacraments of Initiation of Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion at Easter. During the call to continuing conversion, nearly 300 candidates who are already baptised Christians, were affirmed by their sponsors and the assembly. The Church recognises their desire to complete their initiation in order to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Addressing the catechumens and candidates, Cardinal Nichols said, ‘Today marks one of the largest gatherings of people from parishes across the diocese, who join me in giving thanks for the great work that God is carrying out in your lives.’
He added: ‘We give thanks to God for the ways in which our parishes and diocesan family will be enriched by you and we promise to continue to support you and your families with our prayers and the example of Christian life that you experience in our parish communities.’
The Cardinal acknowledged the ‘support which so many priests, deacons, religious, parish catechists, godparents and sponsors have provided’ to these catechumens and candidates: ‘Please God, the journeying with those seeking full communion with the Church will have been a time of grace for you and all the members of our parish communities.’
During Lent, the Elect and candidates will continue their preparations to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter. They will be joined by other catechumens and candidates from around the diocese who are also continuing to discern the call and prepare to be received into the Church at Easter. Please keep them all in your prayers.
Additional photos from Saturday are available here.
Additional photos from Sunday are available here.