Bishop greets those to become Catholic

Published: March 11, 2020

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor met nearly 600 catechumens and candidates during four Rite of Election services across the Diocese of Little Rock Feb. 27 - March 2. Each year, bishops in dioceses worldwide personally welcome those going through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process during the Rite of Election, a special service usually held at the beginning of Lent.

RCIA candidate Katherine Murphy and her sponsor, Carole Glancy, pose with the book of the elect following the Rite of Election at Christ the King Church in Little Rock in Sunday, March 1. Murphy is participating in the RCIA process through St. Anne Church in North Little Rock.

The rite was held at Blessed Sacrament Church in Jonesboro Feb. 27; St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers Feb. 29; Christ the King Church in Little Rock March 1; and St. Edward Church in Texarkana March 2. About 577 people preparing the enter the Church at the Easter Vigil through the RCIA process participated, while another 23 did not.

Catechumens are those who have not been baptized and are being formed in the Christian faith and life. Candidates are baptized members of other Christian churches who wish to become Catholic.

During the Rite of Election, the bishop declares catechumens ready to receive the sacraments of initiation, which are baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist. Through this process, they become known as the "elect."

At the same time, he calls candidates to continuing conversion as they prepare to be confirmed and receive first Communion. To learn more, study the RCIA StepsThis year the unbaptized outnumber the baptized from other Christian churches, with 305 elect and 272 candidates preparing to enter the Catholic Church.

RCIA is offered at the parish level and generally begins in the fall and concludes with full initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil Mass. To learn more, visit the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

If anyone is entering the Church through your parish, we invite you follow the bishop's example and introduce yourself and welcome them to your parish community. To find out if you have elect or candidates in your parish, see the 2020 RCIA List. For more information, contact the Office of Faith Formation at (501) 664-0340.