Rite of Election Welcomes Catechumens, Candidates
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
March 2, 2023
ROCKFORD—It was a “moment when so many gather to be with those who will be a new light in many ways to the Church either by entrance or by the completion of their initiation.”
Bishop David Malloy welcomed in particular those in the crowd who had never been to the Cathedral of St. Peter, which was brightly lit that Feb. 25 morning as sunlight streamed through the stained glass windows on either side of the sanctuary. “How welcome you are,” Bishop Malloy said, noting how the morning beauty was “calling us to lift up our minds and hearts, especially joining those who are here to be part of (the) Rite of Election.” 
The “election” is of the catechumens — the unbaptized men and women who will be fully initiated into the Church with the sacraments of baptism, Eucharist and confirmation at the upcoming Easter Vigil. The catechumens are chosen by the Church as people who are fit and able to be disciples of Jesus, which means a life of mission — of missionary discipleship. The names of all the catechumens were presented to the bishop who then formally declared them to be members of the elect.
The call to the candidates — those who will receive the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil — is to continuing conversion as they complete their Christian initiation.
With both groups, the godparents (of catechumens) and sponsors (of candidates) were invited to place their hand on the shoulders of the men or women they are supporting through the process with loving care and example. 
In the final prayer over the elect and candidates, Bishop Malloy asked God to “bless all your adopted children and add these chosen ones to the harvest of your new covenant. As true children of the promise, may they rejoice in eternal life, won, not by the power of nature, but through the mystery of your grace.”
Shop Religious items at HOLYART.COM