Almost 900 prepare to join Catholic Church at Easter

Staff report

CINCINNATI — On Sunday, Feb. 14, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will celebrate the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion with 880 adults and children seeking entrance into the Roman Catholic Church.

The Rite of Election is celebrated with those who are unbaptized and preparing to receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. The Call to Continuing Conversion is celebrated with those already baptized, but desiring to be received into the Roman Catholic Church. Additionally, baptized Catholics who are completing their initiation through the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist are also called to continuing conversion at this celebration.

The Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. This season of the Church year is dedicated in a particular way to the final preparation period of these men, women, and children as they prepare to enter the church.

The term “election” refers to the fact that God has chosen these catechumens for membership into Christ’s Body. During this public celebration, the church discerns their readiness and affirms their intention to advance toward the Easter sacraments.

Nearly 4,000 catechumens, candidates, parish members, family and friends will gather for these rites that mark this step on the journey of faith. These gatherings are one way in which the Archbishop and Auxiliary Bishop can be involved in the initiation process of these soon-to-be Catholics. Also, it is an opportunity for those involved in the initiation process to experience a sense of being incorporated into the larger Roman Catholic community.

This year there will be four celebrations on Sunday, Feb. 14:

• 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, Cincinnati; the Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, archbishop of Cincinnati, presiding.

• 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church, Dayton, the Most Rev. Joseph R. Binzer, auxiliary bishop, presiding.

Parishes have been assigned to a particular celebration according to the deanery in which they are located.

As the Roman Catholic Church of Cincinnati gathers to celebrate God’s election and calling of these catechumens and candidates, let us pray that they, who have responded to the call of God in Christ, may continue to be about the Word and work of Christ in the world, archdiocesan officials said.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 38th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics, and has the sixth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 211 parishes and 111 Catholic primary and secondary schools.

Staff report