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Catechumens, Candidates Celebrate 'a Significant And Sacred Moment'

The Message photos by Tim Lilley

Bishop Joseph M. Siegel celebrated the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion for Diocese of Evansville catechumens and candidates on March 10 at Precious Blood Parish in Jasper.

Twenty-seven parishes from across the diocese presented their Catechumens – those who will be baptized, confirmed and receive the Eucharist during the Easter Vigil – and their Candidates – those who will be confirmed and receive the Eucharist during the Easter Vigil. Their respective sponsors joined them in the presentation at Precious Blood Parish.

In his homily, Bishop Siegel recognized that the catechumens and candidates are responding to the working of the Holy Spirit in them by seeking “election” for baptism and being called to reception, at Easter, into full communion with the Church.

He offered them support on behalf of the entire diocese, and he thanked their godparents, sponsors and catechists for accompanying them on their “journey of faith.” He also thanks parishes across the diocese for welcoming catechumens and candidates into their families.

Bishop Siegel talked about the day’s readings, which remind us of a call to purification and enlightenment. Referring specifically to the gospel reading (Matthew 4: 1-11), he noted that even Jesus dealt with temptation. He told the catechumens and candidates that grappling with sin and temptation is inevitable when seeking a pure heart.

He described Lent as a time of prayer and reflection so that, with God’s grace, we can mitigate the patterns of evil and sin from our hearts. Praying, fasting and performing works of charity help us daily on our Lenten journey to create new hearts and new spirits that are rooted in Jesus, the bishop added.

“The Church calls you to purification and enlightenment,” he said.

In closing, Bishop Siegel assured the catechumens and candidates that he and all the faithful across the diocese are – and will be – praying for them as they continue their Lenten walks and prepare for the Easter Vigil and the Sacraments of Initiation.

In the photo accompanying this story, Bishop Joseph M. Siegel, at right, completes the Act of Election for Catechumens, who stand in front of him with their Godparents. In the photo that appears in The Message Online home page slide show, Bishop Siegel, at right, speaks to Candidates and their Sponsors as he officially recognizes Candidates’ desires to come into Full Communion with the Church.