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Welcome our new Catholics at Easter Vigil

Published: March 10, 2016

Catholic parishes across Arkansas will welcome about 670 new Catholics into the Church during their Easter Vigil Masses on Holy Saturday, March 26. These people have participated in their parish's Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process and fall into two groups: the elect and candidates.

The elect have not been baptized and have been formed in the Christian faith and life. At the Easter Vigil, they will be baptized, confirmed and receive their first Communion. Candidates are baptized members of other Christian churches who wish to become Catholic. During the Easter Vigil, they will make a profession of faith, be confirmed and receive their first Communion.

Each year during Lent, Bishop Anthony B. Taylor welcomes participants in the RCIA process during the Rite of Election. This year, the service was held in North Little Rock, Jonesboro, Rogers and Texarkana in February.

During this rite, the bishop declares catechumens ready to receive the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist). Through this process, they become the elect. At the same time, he calls candidates to continuing conversion as they prepare to be confirmed and receive their first Communion. To learn more, study the RCIA Steps.

If there are any elect and/or candidates entering the Church through your parish, we invite you follow the bishop's example and introduce yourself and welcome them to your parish community. The list of all those entering the Church may be found in the March 26 issue of Arkansas Catholic.

To learn more about the RCIA process, visit RCIA Q&A. To learn about Catholicism, see the following resources that explain the Catholic faith. For more information, contact the Office of Faith Formation at (501) 664-0340.

  • Catholicism 101 — Provides answers to the most common questions about Catholic teaching.
  • Understanding Our Church — A series of articles that explain the faith on a variety of topics.
  • Bishop Taylor Homily Library — Sermons given by the leader of the Catholic faith in Arkansas that explain the Scriptures, Catholic doctrine and what the Church teaches on social and moral issues.
  • What We Believe — Resource page that offers links to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the governing body of the Catholic Church in America, on what the Church teaches on the Bible, social teachings, love and sexuality, morality and much more.