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Diocese to Welcome 1,200 New Catholics at Easter Vigil Masses

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Approximately 1,200 men and women in the Diocese of Raleigh will become members of the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil Masses celebrated in parishes throughout the Diocese. Just under 500 “Elect” will receive the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. Some 700 “Candidates’, who were baptized in other Christian traditions, will be brought into full Communion with the Church through a profession of faith and by receiving the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.

The Elect and Candidates will be completing the formation process known as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The Rite is for the unbaptized; those who have been baptized but uncatechized; and as noted above, those who have been baptized in other Christian traditions.

The RCIA is a gradual process of several steps beginning with the period of inquiry (precatechumenate). The second stage is the catechumenate, in which the unbaptized and the uncatechized baptized learn about the Word of God and how to live a Catholic Christian life. The third stage is the period of Purification and Enlightenment, during which the Elect and the Candidates begin a period of intense preparation and prayer, beginning with the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion. It ends with the celebration of the three Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.

The fourth stage is mystagogy, the time when the newly initiated continue their formation in the faith and when they reflect upon their encounter with Christ in the sacraments, a life-long process that all members of the Church are called to in order to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus.

A separate Mass will be celebrated for Catholics who have previously received the Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist and are, following the formation, now seeking to complete their Initiation by receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. On April 25, The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge will preside at a Diocesan Celebration of Adult Confirmation. The 3:00 PM Mass will take place at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Raleigh. Additional information is available by contacting your local parish or the Diocesan Office of Worship at 919-832-6281.