Yesterday, I had the honor of presenting 20 catechumens to the Archbishop in the Rite of Election at our cathedral. It was an exciting day for these chosen ones who are just being initiated into the life of the church. For some of them, it was the first time they had ever seen a bishop in person. One by one they came forward and signed their names in the Book of the Elect for, although they are not baptized yet, they belong to God now and are his chosen ones. As their pastor, I will have the distinct and undeserved honor of fully initiating them into the Church during the Easter Vigil where they will receive Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion.
The reason I tell you this story is because it falls on all of us to pray for these chosen ones as they enter their immediate preparation for these sacraments. During Lent, you will hear many prayers offered for our Catechumens because these are men and women who have chosen to follow Christ and to be baptized into the Catholic Church. We sometimes take it for granted because most of us are cradle Catholics and were raised in this faith. Our elect are just starting to walk the footsteps of faith and are discovering the beauty of the Church they chose to be part of. There's been many an Easter Vigil where I've seen one of them emerge from the waters of baptism with tears in their eyes.
So pray for these Elect this Lent. Pray for their families because sometimes the Elect are the ones that through their witness begin to bring their loved ones to church. Pray that the grace of this season may renew in each one of us the love and the passion that these soon to be new members have for our Church.