Candidates Welcomed for the Catholic Church

Our parish welcomes 18 candidates and catechumens for full entrance into the Catholic Church.

This second Sunday of Advent, December 8th, we held the Rite of Acceptance and Welcoming. The candidates were greeted at the door of the church and welcomed across the threshold as a sign of being welcomed into their formation for entrance into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Candidates are welcomed through the doors of the church for the first time.
"Dear friends, the Church joyfully welcomes today those who will be received into the order of catechumens. We also greet those who, already one with us by baptism, now wish to complete their initiation through confirmation and Eucharist and to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

For all of these, we give thanks and praise to the God who has led them by various paths to oneness in faith. My dear candidates, you are welcomed in the name of Christ."
After stating their intentions and responding to questions, the sign of the cross was traced on their forehead.
"Receive the cross on your forehead. It is Christ himself who now strengthens you with this sign of His love. Learn to know Him and follow Him."

A cross is traced on the forehead of each candidate by the Very Rev. Joshua S. Caswell, SJC

Please keep all those preparing for baptism and confirmation this Easter vigil in your prayers.

The newly welcomed candidates listen to the Gospel being proclaimed during the Holy Mass.

Welcome Home

Words given by Deacon Matthew Schuster, SJC

It is with great joy that we welcome today the Catechumens – preparing for baptism – and Candidates – already baptized, now seek to be fully initiated in the life of the Church. You are most welcome here.

This is your home. You were called forth from the world by name. Your names and intentions have been verbally etched into the walls, the fabric of this Church building. You publicly declared your intention to continue your formation in the Christian way of life, and Mother Church called you across her threshold into the House of God.

Already Mother Church holds you close. She has prepared a rich banquet for you of God’s Holy Word. She opens the sacred pages of her story book and teaches you the mysteries of salvation. Let this Word be your nourishment. It will strengthen you in your resolve to follow Christ.

The sacred sign of our salvation, the sign of the Cross, was marked on your foreheads. You have been claimed for Christ. Always remember that it is by clinging to the Cross that we stand firm. The Cross is our strength and our hope. Those who are friends of the Cross will stand erect on the Last Day, for a friend of the Crucified One will have no fear at the Second Advent, the Second Coming of Our Savior.

To those who are already initiated into the Christian life – my fellow baptized brothers and sisters – realize that today we have pledged our support to these friends of the Church. We are called to pray for them, daily. We are called to witness the Christian life to them, to be Christ-like examples. Make our catechumens and candidates welcome in our midst. Show them Christian hospitality. Meet them and learn to call them by name, as Mother Church knows them and calls them by name. Remember that RCIA is not a one-hour-per-week class that Br. Nathan teaches. No, RCIA is a formation in the Christian way of life, a way of life that cannot be taught only with words. Realize that we all are part of their formation and education.

And do not think, dear brothers and sisters (Catechumens & Candidates), that you are not also teaching us by your presence. You inspire us to renew our own baptism. Your witness of zeal and dedication in answering the first stirrings of God’s call in your hearts moves us also to take the virtue of faith we received in baptism more seriously. You remind us to hold as most precious the Blood of Christ, by which we were redeemed. We long for the day when you will be able to enter fully into the mystery of Christ through the sacraments. We look forward to the day when you will join us at the sacred nuptial banquet of the Mass.

For now, you will be sent from our midst to continue to be fed by God’s Word. As you are being sent, know that our prayers go with you.