Bishop Barry C. Knestout celebrated the Rite of Election with 441 catechumens the weekend of March 9-10. The rite was celebrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem, and the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond, on Saturday, March 9, and on Sunday, March 10, at the Church of the Holy Family, Virginia Beach. Catechumens from 63 parishes participated.
The Rite of Election begins the third stage of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) — the process by which those seeking to join the Church learn about the Catholic faith. During the Rite of Election, the bishop signs each parish’s Book of the Elect in which each of the catechumens has entered his/her name. During the Rite of Election, the catechumens become “the elect,” meaning they have made known their intention to become Catholic.
The elect will continue preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation — baptism, confirmation and Eucharist — at the Easter Vigil, when they will be recognized as full members of the Church.