||Catechumen Jennifer Lessner from St. William Parish in Janesville signs the Book of the Elect. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash).
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WAUNAKEE -- A range of emotions were seen on the faces of more than 120 soon-to-be full members of the Catholic Church on Sunday, Feb. 22, at St. John the Baptist Church in Waunakee.
Some smiled in awe over the beauty of the church’s architecture. Some looked nervous about the uncertainty over what was coming next. Others sat patiently with their sponsors and other future parish members, merely taking it all in.
The first Sunday of Lent again marked the occasion of the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion.
It’s part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
The RCIA is the process through which adults are introduced to the Catholic faith and become members of the Church. This will happen at the Easter Vigil Mass at their respective parishes.
This year there are 35 catechumens (elect), or those who are not yet baptized and will receive the Sacraments of Initiation -- Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. There are 90 candidates -- those who have been baptized Christian, but are seeking the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confirmation.
Welcome from the bishop
The afternoon began with a prelude and opening hymn led by the Madison Diocesan Choir under the direction of Dr. Patrick Gorman and the Odyssey Woodwind Quartet.
Bishop Robert C. Morlino greeted everyone, thanking them for “coming in faith,” as well as thanking his “brother priests” who came from 38 parishes around the diocese to pray for the catechumens and candidates.
As he thanked everyone for coming, the bishop said, “We welcome great men and women who want to follow Jesus Christ, who want to grow close to him each day, especially through Baptism and Confirmation and Eucharist.”