February 1, 2017
Amarillo—Bishop Patrick J. Zurek will celebrate the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion Sunday, March 5 at 2:30pm at St. Mary’s Cathedral, 1200 South Washington.
All participants in the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion should be at St. Mary’s Cathedral by no later than 1:30pm to receive final instructions, according to Sister María Elena Ferrer, SSND, Coordinator of Faith Formation for the Diocese of Amarillo.
“The celebration of the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, which usually coincides with the opening of Lent, also marks the beginning of the period of final, more intense preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation, during which the elect and candidate will be encouraged to follow Christ with greater generosity.” said Sister María Elena. “This step is called election because the acceptance made by the Church is founded on the election by God, in whose name the Church acts. The step is also called the enrollment of names because as a pledge of fidelity the candidates inscribe their names in the book that lists those who have been chosen for initiation. The rite will also recognize those adults who have already been baptized as Christians and now wish to profess their Faith as members of the Catholic Church. These Christians are called to ongoing conversion as they prepare to complete their sacramental initiation. These already-baptized adults are known as ‘candidates’ to distinguish them from the unbaptized catechumens.
Sister María Elena offers this simple explanation of the RCIA Process:
“The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the process by which adults become Catholic. It is called a Process because it is a time of discerning and ritualizing stages of conversion within the faith journey of adults.
“It is called a Rite because, starting with the Period of the Catechumenate, each period of the process is introduced by a rite which is celebrated with the worshiping community.
“These Rites are open to those who have never been baptized, those who have been baptized in another Christian denomination and are interested in becoming Catholic, and those who were baptized Catholic, but have not been catechized and have not received the Sacraments of Confirmation or Eucharist.
“Those who participate in the process are called Catechumens, if they have never been baptized, or Candidates, if they have already been baptized.”
For more information about the Rite of Election, contact Sister María Elena at the Diocesan Pastoral Center, 383-2243 ext. 113.