Bishop welcomes those becoming Catholic

Published: March 11, 2022

Bishop Anthony B. Taylor met more than 400 catechumens and candidates during four Rite of Election services across the Diocese of Little Rock March 3-7. 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.

The rite was held at Blessed Sacrament Church in Jonesboro March 3; St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers March 5; Christ the King Church in Little Rock March 6; and St. Edward Church in Texarkana March 7.

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. 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.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact participation in the life of the Church. Although 400 participants in RCIA is up from 2021's 341, it is still well below the 600 that began the process before the pandemic began in 2020.

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 Steps

If anyone is entering the Church through your parish, we invite you to 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 2022 RCIA List. For more information, contact the Office of Faith Formation at (501) 664-0340.