Bishop welcomes elect on journey to Easter

JACKSON – More than 50 catechumens from 13 parishes signed their names into the Book of the Elect at the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle Sunday, May 9, during the Rite of Election. During the ritual, repeated in every diocese, the bishop asks the directors of Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) programs if the catechumens have been studying and praying and if they are ready for baptism. He then accepts them as the elect and they continue their journey to Easter.

Bishop Joseph Kopacz welcomed the crowd at the service and reminded them that Lent is a time to remember the power of God’s grace. “The grace of God far surpasses any sin, any evil,” he said in his remarks. He also encouraged them and told them they are an important part of all Catholics’ preparation for Easter. “Your part in this is profound. Your journey of faith for all of us ‘old-time’ Catholics is a renewal. It reminds us of the treasure we have. And we influence each other,” he said.

The bishop, who had celebrated a Mass in New Albany St. Francis of Assisi Parish that morning, also urged those in attendance to “relax in the presence of Jesus,” as they came up individually to sign the book and meet the bishop. A reception followed the ceremony.