Lenten rites pave way to Easter conversion

By Berta Mexidor
JACKSON/ MADISON – Lent begins with the penitential sign of ashes on Ash Wednesday, but does include some joyful moments for the faithful.
Bishop Joseph Kopacz, celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass at the Cathedral, blessing ashes to mark the forheads of those in the church.
The Sunday, March 10, Bishop Kopacz, assisted by Deacon Mc Gregor celebrated the Rite of Election and call to continuing conversion for 43 catechumens and 10 candidates for confirmation during Mass at St. Francis of Assisi Parish. Pastor Father Albeenreddy Vatti and Father Frank Cosgrove were also on hand.
Mary Woodward, chancellor, presented a book with their names to the bishop before all the catechumens and candidates received a blessing and a Pastoral Priorities prayer card from Bishop Kopacz.
The group represented all age groups and included members of parishes around the diocese. The Rite of Election and call to continuing conversion mark the final preparations for Easter, when the catechumens will receive first communion and candidates will be confirmed.
Lauren Roberts, a catechumen from Jackson St. Richard, explained that she was baptized into the church years ago, but her fiancé, family and friends helped her to decide to take this step toward full, active membership in the church. Maria Vera is sponsoring Alberto and Alexis Jiménez. She said she wants to show them the road to Christ.

Ash Wednesday

JACKSON – Mary Woodward places ashes on the forhead of a member of the Cathedral of St. Peter the Apostle on Ash Wednesday. (Photos by Maureen Smith)

Above, Mr. Wesley Lindsay marks a woman's forehead. The ashes are a reminder to turn from sin during Lent and prepare for Easter.

Rite of Election