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More than 540 prepare to enter Church at rite


Catechumens, those who have never been baptized, and their godparents present themselves before Cardinal O'Malley at the 4:00 p.m. ceremony of the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Feb. 17. Pilot photo/Christopher S. Pineo

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SOUTH END -- More than 540 people preparing to enter the Church this Easter gathered at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with family and supporters on the First Sunday of Lent, Feb. 17, for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion.

Catechumens -- those who have never been baptized -- participated in the Rite of Election and candidates -- those who are Christian but not Catholic -- participated in the Call to Continuing Conversion, at both ceremonies.

Due to a large number of catechumens and candidates joining the Church, the archdiocese held two ceremonies for the different regions, West, North and South regions at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. Central and Merrimack regions at 4:00 p.m.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley noted in his homily that similar ceremonies happened that day across the United States.

"Today it is a very special joy to welcome our new brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church. In the some 200 cathedrals in the United States, bishops are gathering today with this year's cohort of new Catholics -- adults who have been led by the spirit to join our community of faith," he said.

"There are about 150,000 who will be participating in the Rite of Election, on this the First Sunday of Lent, in the Cathedrals of the United States, so it is a very special day for all of us," he said.

In his homily, Cardinal O'Malley spoke directly to the catechumens and candidates.

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