Bishop grants one year change to Rite of Election

Bishop Joseph Kopacz has delegated authority to pastors to celebrate the 2015 Rite of Election in the local parish instead of having one celebration in the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle. Several circumstances contributed to the decision according to Mary Woodward, diocesan chancellor.
“The Rite of Election is a celebration reserved for the bishop and ideally takes place in the cathedral, but the bishop can allow it to take place on the parish level on rare occasions,” said Woodward. “The rite will return to the cathedral in 2016,” she added.
The Rite of Election is the ritual moment when catechumens declare before the bishop their desire for baptism into the church. Each catechumen then signs the Book of the Elect and is welcomed by the bishop as a member of the Elect.
The bishop is the chief pastor of the diocesan church and is the symbol of unity in the church. This is why the rite normally is celebrated by him in the cathedral. Parishes have been asked to send the names of their catechumens to the diocesan liturgy office so that they may be included in the diocesan Book of Elect which will be placed on the St. Joseph Shrine during Lent and Holy Week.