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"Continued" from December 2010 / January 2011 RCIA e-connection newsletter...

Best Catechumenal Practices - The Rite of Election:  Responding to the Bishop's Call

     As the parishes send them forth, the Bishop stands ready to receive these catechumens and candidates is emphasized by the presence of our highest local ecclesial authority. For many this will be one of the few times they will see and meet Bishop Kmiec, the ordinary of the Buffalo Diocese. And, as Bishop Kmiec has himself said, it is this duty of his office in celebrating this rite that allows him the joy of seeing the church gaining new life.

     As the status of the catechumen changes to "the Elect" we, too, are reminded that we must continue to support them and the candidates by our own example of prayer and the Christian life. This call to continuing conversion is also a call to us, the fully initiated. (125)

     The Rite of Election serves as a touchstone to the worldwide church. It is a lived experience of a church that is wider than one parish, one diocese and one country. With fellow catechumens and candidates around the world they are reveranced in the gesture of announcing their names and inscribing them in the Book of the Elect or on the scroll of Candidates. It is an experience for those approaching the Easter sacraments that should never be overlooked in it's benefit for them as well as for the parish, our Bishop, the diocese, and the Church as a whole.

Deborah A. Keenan, Director of the Catechumenate for St. Mary of the Lake, Hamburg, NY, and Pastoral Associate for Ministry at Annunciation Parish, Elma, NY

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