02 Mar 2023
New Catholics encouraged to feel at home
The Southern Cross | March 2023
Archbishop Patrick O’Regan affirmed 30 candidates at the Rite of Election in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral on Sunday, February 26.
The candidates come from different backgrounds but are united in their desire to become Catholic, to be baptised and confirmed and receive the Eucharist for the first time.
After meeting the candidates and their sponsors informally, Archbishop O’Regan spoke to them about the journey they are on, and the unfolding of that journey gradually within the context of their local communities.
At the same time, as signified by their presence in the Cathedral, the candidates were also affirmed as belonging to the wider Archdiocesan community and encouraged to think of the Cathedral as the place where they can feel at home within the community.
RCIA coordinator Kathy Horan said the Rite of Election was a significant part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process. Up until now, the catechumens have been exploring the faith of the Catholic Church, developing a personal relationship with the Lord and becoming familiar with their local parish communities by being part of Sunday Mass gatherings and other activities at parish level.
“They have felt a call to find out more, to ‘come and see’ what the Catholic faith is all about and to discern their future within the Church as fully initiated members,” she said.
“The Rite of Election acknowledges and brings to this ritual moment the decision that these catechumens are ready for baptism.”
After the Rite of Election, many of the ‘elect’ could be seen walking around and exploring the various religious statues, mosaics and stained glass windows in the company of their parish coordinator and sponsors.
Many expressed their thanks for being welcomed and affirmed in their journey to faith as they left to return to their parishes and homes. The newly elect were promised in the prayer over the elect and final blessing that the community would continue to pray for them and support them on their journey.