By: Deacon Charles Rohrbacher
Bishop Andrew Bellisario, C.M. celebrated the Rite of Election at the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary on February 18th, the First Sunday of Lent. Four catechumens (unbaptized Christians preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) Alyssa Perry, Nikolaas Reis and his son Jaxon, catechumens from the Cathedral parish and Gregory Kozeroff, a catechumen from St. Paul’s parish, participated in the rite with their godparents and catechists.
At the Rite of Election the godparents, catechists and the parish community affirm the faith and readiness of the catechumens to receive the Easter sacraments at the upcoming Easter Vigil.
Then in the presence of the Bishop, representing both the local and the universal Church, the catechumens signed their names in the Book of the Elect and were solemnly declared by him, Elect of God.
During the Lenten season the Elect complete their initial conversion to Christ through the three Scrutinies on the Third, Fourth and Fifth Sundays of Lent. The minor exorcisms and prayers of the rite are intended to heal the wounds of sin in their lives as well as workings of God’s grace and mercy. During Lent the Elect are also solemnly presented with the Nicene Creed and the Lord’s Prayer.