685 become Catholic during Easter Vigil

Published: April 10, 2024

“I am joining the Catholic Church because I am interested in becoming closer to God and developing a greater understanding of the Catholic faith and traditions. I am most excited to receive the sacraments. I am proud to become a member of the St. Boniface Parish and look forward to growing within the church. The online RCIA classes have been a wonderful experience and have worked great with my schedule. I’m thankful for this opportunity.” — Jake Waters, Elect, St. Boniface Church, New Dixie

Catholic parishes across the Diocese of Little Rock welcomed 685 new Catholics into the Church during Easter Vigil Masses on Holy Saturday, March 30. This is a significant increase after the decline during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shyanne Marie Porter is baptized during the Easter Vigil Mass, March 30, 2024, at St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church in Bella Vista.

These neophytes (new Catholics) participated in their parish's Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process and fell into two groups: elect and candidates. The elect had not been baptized or formed in the Christian faith and life.

During their initiation they were baptized, confirmed and receive their first Communion.

Candidates were already baptized members of other Christian churches who wished to become Catholic. During their initiation, they made a profession of faith, were confirmed and received their first Communion.

Several shared why they became Catholic in the March 30 issue of Arkansas Catholic. The newspaper also spoke with students who chose to become Catholic while attending Catholic school. Read their stories to learn more.

If there are new Catholics in your parish, we invite you to introduce yourself and welcome them into your community!