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Hundreds prepare to join the Church at Easter


Kevin Dimas, 26, beamed. His pastor, Father Mark Betti of Holy Family in Hillsborough, looked on.

“My name is Kevin Dimas, and I’m here as a Candidate for my Sacraments, and I’m kind of nervous,” he said with a smile.

Mr. Dimas was among a large and diverse number of candidates and catechumens at St. Thomas More Church in Chapel Hill on Sunday, March 5, for The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion.

In the diocese this rite is combined with the Rite of Calling the Candidates to Continuing Conversion—this is for baptized non-Catholics preparing for full communion with the Catholic Church, calling them to a similar period of more intense preparation to receive the sacraments of Confirmation and/or Eucharist when they are received into the Church.

The rite was also celebrated at Holy Family Church in Elizabeth City and St. Ann Church in Clayton.

The rite and call are a celebration of the diocesan Church, presided in most dioceses by the bishop. In absence of a bishop, Monsignor Michael Shugrue, diocesan administrator, celebrated the Mass in Chapel Hill. Father Scott McCue, pastor of St. Thomas More Church, concelebrated.

This year 400 catechumens and 225 candidates are entering the Church at the Easter Vigil Masses throughout the diocese.

“I think now, being a mature man, it’s been a bigger decision, and I feel ready for it. It’s really good,” Mr. Dimas said. “I used to live in Mexico. Now, I’m here with the conviction to take the Catholic life. So that’s the reason I take that decision, and that’s the best decision in my whole life.”

On March 12, the rite will be celebrated at St. Patrick Church in Fayetteville and at the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary in Wilmington.