One of the most important and beautiful rites of the church took place on Sunday 18 February at St Patrick’s Cathedral Melbourne, as those seeking to join the Catholic Church and receive the sacraments of initiation at Easter were presented to the Archbishop of Melbourne as part of the Rite of Election ceremony.
Following initial enquiries about the Catholic faith, people wishing to join the Catholic Church (or renew their baptismal promises and receive the sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Confirmation at Easter) embark on a period of learning the teachings of Jesus through the Gospel. They are accompanied on this journey by their local parish who bear witness to their faith.
The wider community then welcomes these people through the Rite of Election, which takes place annually on the first Sunday of Lent at St Patrick's Cathedral. It is an important step in the RCIA/RCIC process, as it is seen as a public commitment by the candidates to pursue their faith journey and as a commitment of accompaniment by their sponsors and local parishes.
As Archbishop Hart said earlier in the week, when he received and welcomed the 2018 catechumens at his East Melbourne offices, ‘for those accompanying the catechumens and candidates in their faith journey, or for those present at the Cathedral, the witnessing of this call to faith also enriches our own faith life and is a precious gift for all to take back to their local parish community.’