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More than 120 take next steps to becoming Catholic
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019 -- 12:00 AM
book of election
Brandi Jo Peña, a catechumen from St. William Parish in Janesville, signs the Book of the Elect during the  Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at St. John the Baptist Church in Waunakee on March 10. To view or purchase photos, go to www.madisoncatholicherald.smugmug.com (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

WAUNAKEE -- “It’s been a wonderful journey and I’m very excited,” said catechumen Brandi Jo Peña from St. William Parish in Janesville, with her husband and sponsor, Steven, at her side.

He said he felt, “extreme joy . . . my heart is full and, this part of the journey, it’s magnificent.”

The Peñas were one of more than 120 pairs of catechumens, candidates, and their sponsors at the annual Diocese of Madison Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion held at St. John the Baptist Parish in Waunakee on March 10.

Declaring their intent

More than 30 catechumens, those who will receive the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation on Easter Vigil, declared their intent to become full members of the Catholic Church.

They signed their names to the Book of the Elect and presented themselves to Diocesan Administrator Msgr. James Bartylla.

Nearly 100 candidates, those who will be confirmed in the Church on the Easter Vigil, also declared their intent to be in full communion with the Church and presented themselves to Monsignor Bartylla.

“This is part of a long journey,” said candidate Tom Heikkinen from Cathedral Parish in Madison.

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Dealing with the temptation to fear
Written by Msgr. James Bartylla, Diocesan Administrator   
Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

Msgr. James Bartylla, diocesan administrator, gave the following homily at the Rite of Election held Sunday, March 10, at St. John the Baptist Church, Waunakee.

Greetings in Jesus Christ to the catechumens and candidates gathered here today at the Rite of Election!

In the Gospel today, Our Lord Jesus Christ enters the desert of temptation -- not in fear, but in a step of fulfillment of His Incarnation among us. We are still tempted today, often in fear, and currently it is in relation to fear associated with the Church.

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Movie' Unplanned': Bold, with mercy and redemption
Written by John Mulderig, Catholic News Service   
Thursday, Mar. 21, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Faith, forgiveness, and healing were some of the central topics that emerged during a recent panel discussion about the forthcoming abortion-themed film Unplanned at New York City’s Sheen Center for Thought & Culture.

The three participants were former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson, on whose 2011 memoir the picture is based; actress Ashley Bratcher, who portrays Johnson on screen; and producer Chris Jones.

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