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Hundreds prepare to enter Catholic Church at Rite of Election


  • Catechumens and their godparents gather at the front of the cathedral for the Rite of Election, March 5. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
  • Catechumens and their sponsors are called to the front of the cathedral to present themselves to Cardinal O’Malley during the Rite of Election, March 5. (Pilot photo/Mark Labbe)
  • A young catechumen signs her name in the Book of the Elect during the Rite of Election, March 5. (Pilot photo/Mark Labbe)
  • Catechumens and their sponsors gather at the front of the cathedral during the Rite of Election, March 5. (Pilot photo/Mark Labbe)
  • A sponsor places her hand on the shoulder of a candidate during the Call to Continuing Conversion, March 5. (Pilot photo/Mark Labbe)

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SOUTH END -- Six-year-old Nyahra Cardoso, a new catechumen from the Brockton Tri-Parish community was excited. She had just participated in the Rite of Election at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, March 5, taking an important step to fully becoming Catholic.

"I'm a part of God's family now and I'm one of God's friends," said a beaming Cardoso following the ceremony.

A total of 459 catechumens and candidates gathered at the cathedral, which, in order to accommodate the large number of people, saw two celebrations presided over by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, one at 1:30 p.m. and one at 4:30 p.m.

During each celebration, catechumens, those who have never been baptized, participated in the Rite of Election, while candidates, those who are Christian but not Catholic, participated in the Call to Continuing Conversion.

Cardinal O'Malley began his homily by welcoming the catechumens and candidates, and thanking their sponsors and godparents, as well as the priests, deacons, religious, and RCIA coordinators that lent their support to the prospective new Catholics.

"Your presence here today is a sign of hope and joy for all of us," he said.

Today is a day "when we unite as God's people in facing the challenges of being a Catholic Christian in this day and age," the cardinal said, adding that facing those challenges is "never easy."

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