Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
March 12, 2001
The story of one who was elected
DAISY WITHERELL DERY
SPECIAL TO THE WCR
The Rite of Election. Sounds like something to do with the provincial election. For those of us who participated in the celebration this past weekend, it is something far more meaningful.
When I first heard that I would participate in this rite, my initial reaction was that it was just some formality to let people know who had passed through the interest phase and had chosen to become members of the Catholic Church.
While I thought that worthy enough, I started pondering its meaning a little more. I thought about the meaning of "election" and those who are called "the elect." Some churches believe that God only calls a few people to him and that those people are the elect. But I knew that God calls all of us to him, so why the special rite?
As I thought about it more, it dawned on me that while God does indeed call all of us, so far there are only some who have listened and answered the call. The Rite of Election was to celebrate those who, after having been chosen by God, have answered the call by choosing to become members of the Church.
With these thoughts in mind, I attended the celebration at St. Joseph's Basilica March 4. Various RCIA groups from the Edmonton Archdiocese, along with friends and family, were gathered there, all to celebrate the catechumens (non-baptized) and the candidates (baptized) who are in the final stage of preparation for entrance into the Catholic Church.
I, a catechumen, sat among the crowd and marvelled at the turnout - so many people wishing to become Catholic and even more people supporting them.
Until this point, the journey for a catechumen or candidate was largely within the parish. At the St-Thomas d'Aquin RCIA, we are a small group, the only French-speaking RCIA of the city, with one catechumen and two candidates.
Being part of this large ceremony made me realize much more how I am not just becoming a member of a parish, but a member of the entire Church.
It was with a sense of gratitude and solidarity that I watched the catechumens stand, followed by the candidates. While I may never see those faces again, to know that we are all in this together was profoundly powerful.
So now I am one of the elect. In the eyes of our society, this may not be as big of a deal as being elected into government, but I would rather be chosen by God over people any day.
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