Rite of Election
Each year hundreds of catechumens and candidates from throughout the Diocese of Baton Rouge assemble at St. Joseph Cathedral on the First Sunday of Lent (March 5 this year) for a very special service known as the Rite of Election. On this occasion, after serious prayer, study and discernment, their desire to join the Catholic Church is affirmed by Bishop Robert Muench, who approves ("elects") them to receive the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter. Their sponsors and family members join them in celebrating this important step along their journey of faith.
So many seek to join the Church that two services are needed, at 1 pm and at 4:30 pm; a reception follows each service in the Parish Hall.
The Sacraments of Initiation are Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. Adults who join the Catholic Church by baptism - and other adults who, if validly baptized in another Christian religion, join the Church by a formal Profession of Faith - are typically confirmed and received their first Holy Communion at the great Vigil of Easter (April 15 in 2017). Thus the entire season of Lent for them is like an extended retreat, during which they prepare for their entrance into the Catholic Church. They will hear of God's mercy, scrutinize their souls to eliminate sin and focus their motivations, and embrace the Creed whch frames the essentials of belief. Please pray for them all as this intense time of Lenten preparation for them unfolds.