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Rite of Election to be Celebrated February 21

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The Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion will be celebrated in the Diocese of Raleigh on February 21, 2010, the First Sunday of Lent. The Rite will be celebrated in the eight deaneries with Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge the Presider in the Raleigh and Fayetteville Deaneries.

The Rite of Election is a celebration of our being CHOSEN by God.  In the Gospel of St. John the Evangelist we hear Jesus tell his disciples and us that, “… it was not you who chose me, it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit (John 15:10).”  Today the Bishop or his designate – the Dean of each Deanery - stands before the local Church and acknowledges through the public prayer of the Church that God’s call has been addressed to these Catechumens.  Just as they must respond to this call, so also must the local Church, through Her Bishop, Priests, Deacons, Religious, Catechists, Godparents, and Sponsors give testimony and affirmation of Our Lord’s call in Christ.

In this liturgy, those who have been known as “Catechumens” following the Rite of Acceptance are no longer called by this title.  Now these Catechumens are declared “Elect” by the Bishop or the Dean of the Deanery.  In being so declared, the Elect enter into a stage in their journey of conversion: the Period of Purification and Enlightenment.  Along with the entire Church, the Elect keep the Lenten Season and are a powerful sign to the whole Church of the fundamental call to conversion answered.

Although the Rite’s focus is those who will receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil, parishes are encouraged to invite the candidates, those who will complete their initiation to join in prayer and witness by attending the Rite of Election. 

You are invited to pray for each of the Elect and the Candidates. In addition to the Rite of Election, the RCIA process includes two other public rituals; the Scrutinies and the Preparation Rites. Catholics are encouraged to attend these particular Masses as a way of showing support to the Elect. May this glorious Season of Lent open each of them to the rich graces Our Lord seeks to grant them in Christ. 

Albemarle Deanery
Place: Holy Family Parish, Elizabeth City, NC
Time: 4:00 PM
Very Rev. Samuel J. Buchholz, V.F.

Cape Fear Deanery
Place: St. Mary Parish, Wilmington, NC
Time: 3:00 PM
Very Reverend Marcos Leon-Angulo V.F. 

Fayetteville Deanery
Place: St. Patrick Parish, Fayetteville, NC
Time: 6:00 PM
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge

New Bern Deanery
Place: St. Paul Parish, New Bern, NC
Time: 3:00 PM
Very Reverend Ernest J. Ruede, V.F.   

Newton Grove Deanery
Place: St. Mary Parish, Goldsboro, NC
Time: 3:00 PM
Very Rev. James F. Garneau, V.F.

Piedmont Deanery
Place: Blessed Sacrament Parish, Burlington, NC
Time: 3:00 PM
Very Reverend Robert Benko, O.F.M., V.F.

Raleigh Deanery
Place: St. Andrew Parish, Apex, NC
Time: 2:00 PM
Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge

Tar River Deanery
Place: St. Peter Parish, Greenville, NC
Time: 3:00 PM
Very Reverend Justin Kerber, C.P., V.F.