Milestones in the Faith.
Over the next three weeks we will be celebrating three different but related rites of entry into the Catholic Church. This Sunday at the 10.00 Mass we are celebrating the Baptism of one of our newest members – Konnor Ling. You already know his big brother Kevin who is an altar server. Of course, Baptism is the source and basis for everything that we do as Christians. Everything else that we do after our Baptisms is simply a living out of what has happened. Eucharist (Mass) feeds our souls so that we can live as members of the Body of Christ. Confirmation completes our initiation/entry into the Body of Christ the Church. Reconciliation cleanses us from the inevitable clutter that we acquire through our own negligence and wrongdoing. Marriage prepares us to live our lives as Christians in the company of our spouse and our family. Holy Orders conforms a man to Christ and enables him to act on His behalf in guiding and feeding the flock entrusted to him. And finally, the Sacrament of the Sick (and remember: it’s not the sacrament of the half-dead!) is Christ’s way of being with his suffering brothers and sisters.
On March 2nd at the 4.00 Mass we will celebrate the Rite of Acceptance. At this celebration we officially welcome two young members of our community who have been preparing for Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at next (2020) year’s Easter Vigil. They have been with us for a year and now the Church officially welcomes them and gives them the title of Catechumens. They will hold this status for the next year. The ritual for this celebration says: “The rite that is called the rite of acceptance into the order of catechumens is of the utmost importance. Assembling publicly for the first time, the candidates who have completed the period of the precatechumenate declare their intention to the Church and the Church in turn, accepts them as person who intend to become its members. God showers his grace on the candidates , since the celebration manifests their desire publicly and marks their reception and first consecration by the Church.”
Then on the First Sunday of Lent (March 10th) we will celebrate the Rite of Sending at which those who are already Catechumens – the ones we’ve been sending out at the 10.00 Mass for the past few months – are sent to the Cathedral to be officially recognized by the Bishop and raised to the dignity of the Elect. The Elect are those who have completed their catechumenate and are now chosen (elected) to be baptized at the Easter Vigil. Various other rituals will be celebrated with them over the course of the weeks of Lent.
All these celebrations are a wonderful sign of our vigor and vitality as a Christian Community. I hope you will participate as fully as you can at each of them.