Feb 19 - Cardinal To Welcome Over Six Hundred In Rite Of Election And Call To Continuing Conversion On Sunday, February 21st*

Braintree, MA – On Holy Saturday, the Catholic Church throughout the world receives countless men and women into the Church. Parish communities prepare these new members through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) to receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.  For over 600 people here in the Archdiocese of Boston, a significant step along this journey will occur this Sunday, February 21, 2010 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with the Rite of Election of Catechumens and Call to Continuing Conversion of Candidates who are preparing for Confirmation and Eucharist, or reception into the full communion of the Catholic Church.    

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley said, “On the First Sunday of Lent each year we welcome hundreds of men and women who have heard the mystery of Christ proclaimed, have responded with faith, and are now seeking to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church.  They come from many of the parishes and communities throughout the Archdiocese to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to see that the whole Church promises to pray for them during the holy season of Lent, and welcomes them with great joy.”  He added, “This Lent gives every Christian the opportunity to reflect on the grace of Baptism, by which God the Father calls us His beloved sons and daughters.”

Fr. Jonathan Gaspar, Director of Divine Worship for the Archdiocese of Boston, added, “We are encouraged to see a significant increase in the number of men and women coming forward for initiation this year.  More than half of those who are coming to the Cathedral this Sunday are Catechumens who are preparing to be baptized into our Christian faith.”  He added, “The Catholic community promises to pray for these men and women, especially in the Lenten weeks leading up to Easter, that they might come to know Christ more deeply and to follow him with great generosity.”

The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion consists of a Liturgy of the Word, and will be held at 1:30pm and 4pm on Sunday to accommodate the significant number of candidates, catechumens and parish representatives who are participating.
Traditionally, the Rite of Election includes the official enrollment of names of all those preparing to be baptized at the Easter Vigil.  During this part of the Rite, the catechumens publicly request baptism and declare their desire to become disciples of Christ as members of the Catholic Church.  In addition to the Rite of Election, the Call to Continuing Conversion will be celebrated for those men and women who seek to complete their Christian initiation, and for those who are preparing to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

In addition to welcoming all those who have been in the process of RCIA, the Cardinal will also preach on the significance of Lent and speak about the upcoming Lenten initiative, The Light is On For You.  This program will encourage Catholics to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  More information can be found at www.thelightisonforyou.org
Please visit the Archdiocese website to learn more about the RCIA and the Rite of Election at by clicking here. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010
1:30pm & 4pm
Cathedral of the Holy Cross, 1400 Washington St, Boston, MA

Media is welcome