This afternoon at 2:30PM, Catechumens preparing for the Easter Sacraments (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil) as well as Candidates for reception into Full Communion with the Catholic Church from some thirty parishes will be welcomed at Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica.
This annual Rite of Election of the Catechumens will see some fifty men, women and children sign the Book of the Elect in the presence of their sponsors, family, parish representatives and those accompanying them to union with Our Lord's Paschal Mystery through the baptismal washing, sacred anointing with Holy Chrism and admittance to Holy Communion.
Others who will be present are the men and women who accompany these parishioners in their journey through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
Another seventy Candidates, French and English-speaking, will be greeted and prayed over as they prepare to be received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church--most of these having belonged earlier to another Christian community by baptism--and several others who have not been active in ther Catholic faith until now and are following a program similar to the RCIA to come to know and appropriate their faith.
All are welcome to assist at the ceremony this afternoon--always a joyous celebration at the start of Lent--and the reception afterwards in the parish hall where we can welcome the newcomers personally. Let us keep them all in prayerful remembrance as we journey to Easter and the renewal of our own baptismal commitment!
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Grant, almighty God, through the yearly observances of holy Lent, that we may grow in understanding of the riches hidden in Christ and by worthy conduct pursue their effects. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
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VISIT OF THE FATHER GENERAL
OF THE CLARETIAN CONGREGATION
|Left to righ: Fr. Lukose Kochupurackal, Very Rev. Josep M. Abella Batlle, Fr. James Raphel|
Earlier this week, the Claretian Superior General, Father Josep Abella Batlle, a Spaniard and former missionary to Japan now serving in his tenth year of a 12-year mandate, visited Ottawa as part of his canonical visitation to the Claretians in Canada (other members are in the Province of Quebec) and a forthcoming chapter meeting.
Our two Ottawa-based Claretians, Fathers Kochupurackal and Raphel serve at St. Bernard and Holy Cross Parishes respectively.
Four years ago ,the Claretian Superior General and I had met at the Synod of Bishops, so it was good to become reacquainted and to share our concern for the mission of the Church.
Grateful for his community's presence in our Church of Ottawa I pray that the Lord may guide him and his congregation as, together, we collaborate in facing the challenges of the New Evangelization in this Year of Faith and beyond.