REGINA — Fifteen catechumens from nine parishes signed the Book of the Elect at the Rite of Election held Feb. 22 at Holy Rosary Cathedral. The Rite of Election begins the last journey toward baptism that will take place in their respective parishes at the Easter Vigil.
Archbishop Daniel Bohan welcomed the catechumens, their catechists, godparents, family and friends to the cathedral and explained the relationship of the 40 days of Lent to Christ’s 40 days in the desert as told in the Gospels, and the 40 years spent by the Jews wandering in the desert following their release from slavery in Egypt.
“Jesus spent the time in reflection to consider what it means for him to be the Son of God with a mission in the world.” He was tempted by the devil, but he conquered evil and sent him away, said the archbishop. .
The Jews stayed in the desert and reflected on their relationship with God, said Bohan. “We go into the 40 days of Lent to discover who we are as children of God. You have 40 days to reflect on your relationship with Jesus Christ,” Bohan told the catechumens.
The archbishop said the most important thing for the catechumens is not the rituals or theology but their relationship with God. “It is a time for you to reflect on who Jesus is in you.” He asked them to repeat several phrases beginning with “We believe the Lord Jesus conquered evil and death for me,” as he continued with his theme of catechumens building a relationship with God.
The election rite began with the catechists for each catechumen calling them to come forward along with their godparents. When all had been called and stood in front of the sanctuary, each was then invited along with their catechist, to sign the Book of the Elect. It was then taken to the archbishop, who was seated in the sanctuary, for his signature. When all had signed Bohan recited a special prayer over the elect and all returned to their seats for the final blessing.
Six of the nine parishes represented are in Regina. The others came from Weyburn, Estevan and Moose Jaw. Ten catechumens are adults; three children are in high school and two in elementary school. All will receive the three sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil: baptism, first communion and confirmation.
All gathered in the cathedral hall for a reception following the service.