the Rio Grande Catholic Article
402 to join Church during Easter Vigil ceremonies
Andy Sparke / the Rio Grande Catholic
4/17/2012 2:34:05 PM
Bishop Armando X. Ochoa, administrator of the Diocese of El Paso welcomed 402 catechumens preparing to become members of the Catholic Church during the Rite of Election ceremony March 4 in St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Parish Church.
More El Paso catechumens were preparing for entry into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil this year than in 2011, reported Father Marcus McFadin, director of the Diocesan Office of Worship and pastor of St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Parish.
Thirty-four parishes in the El Paso Diocese submitted the 402 catechumen names for the Rite of Election this year, Father McFadin said.
That compares with 320 catechumens from 32 parishes last year.
This year’s Rite of Election took place March 4 at St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Parish.
The El Paso catechumens are among thousands of people who will join the Catholic Church this Easter season.
Holy Week in the Diocese of El Paso will begin with the Chrism Mass at 7 p.m.
Monday April 2 in St. Patrick Cathedral. Priests from all the parishes in the diocese will join in the Mass which will include blessing of the oils used in the Baptisms at the Easter Vigil, the oils used in the blessing of the sick, and the oils used in the sacraments and blessings of churches in all the parishes of the diocese.
The Easter Triduum begins the evening of Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorating the institution of the sacraments of the Eucharist and holy order, and Jesus’ washing the feet of the apostles. It continues through the ceremonies of Good Friday, the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday and concludes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday April 8.
The Rite of Election marks the beginning of the final intense preparation for thousands throughout the world who are the path to becoming members of the Church.
Following their entry into the Church at the Easter Vigil, catechumens will be taking part in a period called mystagogia between Easter and Pentecost.
“Mystagogia” is a strange word that is gradually returning to the Christian vocabulary. It means “going deeper into the mysteries” - that is, into the truths of the faith.
Mystagogia describes the ancient custom of spending the first week of Easter with the newly baptized, helping them experience the depths of the truths they had accepted in their Baptism, Confirmation and first Eucharist.
The Easter season has been called a time of “mystagogia” for both new Christians and old Christians.
Resurrection from sin to the life of grace is the theme of the Easter season which lasts for 50 days from Easter to Pentecost.
The final days of the Easter Season, between the solemnities of the Ascension and Pentecost stress anticipation of the coming and action of the Holy Spirit.
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