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Rite of Election 2021 catechumens and candidates ‘chosen’ by God

The work of the Holy Spirit is evident throughout Perth Archdiocesan parishes, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as 43 catechumens and 35 candidates  who have been taking part in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process in their local parish or region, were last week presented to the Most Reverend Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB who formally welcomed them in the name of the Church.

The Most Reverend Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB welcoming the 2021 catechumens and candidates. Photo: Ron Tan.

The liturgy for the 2021 Rite of Election of Catechumens and Formal Recognition of Candidates was held at St Mary’s Cathedral on the evening of Thursday 25 February.

Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, Vicar General Father Peter Whitely, Episcopal Vicar for Education and Faith Formation, Father Vincent Glynn and Cathedral Dean Father Sean Fernandez joined Archbishop Costelloe to assist with the liturgy and to greet the catechumens and candidates on behalf the Church in the Archdiocese of Perth.

The Rite of Election of Catechumens and Formal Recognition of Candidates marks an essential step in their conversion journey and formation within the RCIA, as their names were presented and formally inscribed in the Book of Elect and the Book of Recognition.

In this liturgy, the catechumens and candidates are “elected” or “chosen” by God to progress towards receiving the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.

Names of Catechumens and Candidates on Scrolls to be inscribed in the Book of Elect and Book of Recognition. Photo: Ron Tan.

At the Rite of Election, the Archbishop articulated God’s hospitality and invitation to those He has called to prepare for reception into the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation.

The Archbishop reminded the catechumens and candidates that the Holy Spirit has chosen them and led them to faith in Jesus Christ at this moment and promises to be with them not just at Easter but throughout their whole life.

Fr Glynn highlighted that “the Rite of election demonstrates in a practical way that Christian faith is not just something personal but is also communal.”

Catechumens and candidates participating in the liturgy for the 2021 Rite of Election of Catechumens and Formal Recognition of Candidates. Photo: Ron Tan.

“We are being a part of the Church, part of the Church expressed within the Archdiocese of Perth. It is important that these candidates and catechumens find support in their faith journey within their parish communities,” Fr Glynn said.

This Liturgical Rite directs our attention to the Book of the Elect where the Catechumens’ names are presented on scrolls to the Archbishop to be formally inscribed.

Office of Christian Initiation Director Dr Carmel Suart expressed her sincere gratitude to all those involved in preparing the ceremony.

She expressed her personal appreciation especially to the sponsors of the Elect and the Candidates “for walking with them on their conversion journey”.

“We also give thanks through the Act of Recognition for all baptised candidates, who are already our Christian brothers and sisters, and desire full initiation into the Catholic faith,” she said.

Dr Suart speaking at the 2021 Rite of Election of Catechumens and Formal Recognition of Candidates. Photo: Ron Tan.

“May all of us here today, and in our parish communities, welcome and support the conversion journey of the catechumens and candidates who seek to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church.

“Let us continue to pray that our parish communities will be strengthened and transformed as we live out our baptismal calling of mission and evangelisation,” Dr Suart concluded.