Welcome our new Catholics at Easter Vigil

Published: April 10, 2017

Catholic parishes across Arkansas will welcome about 585 new Catholics into the Church during their Easter Vigil Masses on Holy Saturday, April 15. 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 Little Rock, Jonesboro, Rogers and Texarkana in March. 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.

Bishop Taylor stressed the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus in his homily. "In RCIA you have studied the teaching of Jesus and considered how to apply this to your own lives, but more important is that you get to know Jesus himself as a person. You know, we are saved by who we know, not by what we know." Read his homily.

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 April 15 issue of Arkansas Catholic. To learn more about the RCIA process, visit RCIA Q&A, or contact the Office of Faith Formation at (501) 664-0340.