The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion of Candidates which took place at Westminster Cathedral on the 5th and 6th March 2022, saw 149 candidates and 148 catechumens welcomed by Cardinal Vincent and Bishops John Sherrington, Nicholas Hudson and Paul McAleenan. Episcopal Vicars, Fr Gerard Quin and Canon Paschal Ryan joined on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
This joyful occasion in the life of the diocese is an opportunity to pray for God’s protection and care for those who seek to be more fully a part of the life of his Church. In his homily, Cardinal Vincent encouraged the catechumens and candidates to think on the questions, ‘Just why are you here this afternoon? What brings you to be here?’
He explained that, especially in the context of Lent, a large part of being a member of the Church is that it is within it we learn how to pray more consistently, richly and fully. This happens as we pray in and through Jesus, in the sacrifice of the Mass which is the highest form of prayer we have. We also pray through Mary and through being in communion with the saints. Cardinal Vincent encouraged those present to think on their Christian name, or the name of the saint they have chosen, and the example of their life.
The Cardinal reminded those present that in Lent we try and rein in our desires. When we deny ourselves those desires, we slowly realise what our deepest desire is: to be united with God. For those who have been summoned by the mystery of God, our response can only be prayer.
He also made a special plea to pray for an end to the assault, destruction and conflict in Ukraine.
After the homily, the deans called out the names of parishes in their deanery, and the Elect and the Candidates of each parish present came forward to be greeted by the Cardinal and the Bishops. At the end of the service, the Book of the Elect, containing the names of this year’s catechumens, who, at the ceremony, became the Elect, was placed in the Baptistery of Westminster Cathedral where all visitors can pray for them as they journey towards Easter when they will receive the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion.
Along with the almost 300 people present in the Cathedral, there are many other people preparing in our parishes to be received at Easter. We pray for them all, that they are strengthened in their vocation and sealed with the Spirit of God’s promise.
Courtesy Diocese of Westminster: https://rcdow.org.uk