‘Great moment of joy in our Church,’ says Bishop Hying Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Mar. 12, 2020 -- 12:00 AM

WAUNAKEE -- Bishop Donald J. Hying said it is a "great moment of joy in our Church" as he welcomed those attending the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion held on Sunday, March 1, at St. John the Baptist Church in Waunakee.

"We lift all catechumens and candidates up in prayer," said Bishop Hying.

Catechumens, candidates

This year there are 36 catechumens (those seeking the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist) and 107 candidates (those who were baptized in another Christian denomination and wish to be welcomed into the Catholic Church) in the Diocese of Madison, a total of 143.

Rite of Election 2020
Bishop Donald J. Hying greets a candidate and his sponsor at the Rite of Election of Catechumens and Call to Continuing Conversion for Candidates for Full Communion in the Catholic Church at St. John the Baptist Parish in Waunakee on March 1. Also pictured is Paul Margala, master of ceremonies. (Catholic Herald photo/Joe Ptak)

Of those, 129 participated in the rites at St. John the Baptist along with their sponsors and friends.

After the Liturgy of the Word with a reading by Kay Schachte of Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Madison, and the Gospel read by Deacon Norbert Brunner of St. John the Baptist Parish, Bishop Hying gave his homily.

Bishop's homily

The bishop said these rites are "one of my favorite things to do. It stirs my heart."

He said to the catechumens and candidates, "We give praise and thanksgiving to God for you," saying that their call to experience the sacraments at the Easter Vigil and come to full communion in the Catholic Church "impacts the rest of us."

Bishop Hying reminded them that conversion is a "process of falling in love with God. God loves us passionately. God in his love and mercy never gives up on us."

The bishop said the readings of the Rite of Election focus on light. "Christ wants to fill you with light. When we stand with Christ, we see reality clearly."

Bishop Hying thanked the priests, directors of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), and catechists who all helped form the catechumens and candidates.

He said, "We see in you the great promise of salvation. You are surrounded by prayer, and the entire Diocese of Madison supports you. It's in this world that we are called to be the light of Christ."


The candidates were presented first. One by one, they were called by name and came forward when their parish name was called.

Each one, accompanied by a godparent, came forward to be greeted by the bishop. The godparents were then asked some questions about their readiness.

After the bishop asked the catechumens if they wished to enter fully into the life of the Church, they each signed his/her name in the Book of the Elect in the sanctuary.

In the Call to Continuing Conversion, the candidates also came forward when their parishes were called with their sponsors to be received by the bishop.

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