More than 800 to Participate in Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion

More than 800 to Participate in Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion

 Adults, young adults, teens, and children among those to be baptized or received into full communion in the Catholic Church this Easter

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This year at Easter, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington will welcome 830 adults, teens, and children, who will be baptized or received into full Communion in the Catholic Church. More than one-third are from the Spanish-speaking community.

Along with their godparents and sponsors, the candidates and catechumens will celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion, with Cardinal Wilton Gregory presiding. Because of the large number of participants, who come from approximately 92 parishes and 6 university campuses, the Archdiocese holds these liturgies on two consecutive Sundays.

Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion

Sunday, March 6 and Sunday, March 13, 2022

3 p.m. ET

at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

The Rite of Election marks the participants’ desire to become Catholic and begins a final period of intense spiritual preparation called Purification and Enlightenment, where the elect join Catholics around the world in the Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and service to others. During the Rite of Election, godparents for the non-Christians, or catechumens, vow that the catechumens are prepared for baptism. After asking the catechumens if this is what they desire, they are declared “the elect,” who have been chosen by God to enter the Church. Similarly, the rite will formally recognize the readiness of those already-baptized Christians, or candidates, to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

At the Easter Vigil on April 16, each parish will celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation. The elect celebrate the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. They then will be called neophytes, and will be full members of the Catholic faithful. After Easter, they continue on a period of reflection called mystagogy (which means “savoring the mysteries”), that runs through their first year from their initiation into the Church. The candidates, having already been baptized, celebrate Confirmation and the Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. There, the candidates will embrace full membership in the Catholic Church.