February 27, 2015, by Father Brian Fier
Dear Fellow Parishioners:
Once again we find ourselves in the midst of our Lenten journey. Forty days to prepare ourselves for the upcoming Easter Triduum. The traditional practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are to be our resources. I pray that each of us is taking time as an individual, as a family and as a community member to enter in to this penitential season. There are so many opportunities!
Often we focus our energies on the individual and family areas, not realizing how our community has also taken on this responsibility. One of the ways we prepare ourselves as a community is through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).
This program actually begins in the fall. Through weekly meetings the participants — catechumens (the unbaptized) and candidates (baptized non-Catholics) — – enter into a process by which people become members of the Roman Catholic Church. While the parish catechist — I am currently serving in this role — represents the community in the formation process, there still are opportunities for the community to support the participants.
For example, this past weekend we celebrated the “Rite of Sending Forth” at the 10:30 Mass. We sent forth our catechumens and candidates to the “Rite of Election,” which took place later that afternoon at the Basilica of St. Mary’s. Over 400 RCIA participants gathered together with Bishop Lee Piche to declare their interest in the Catholic Faith. (Note, at the same time an identical celebration was taking place at the Cathedral of St. Paul with Archbishop John Nienstedt — isn’t it great to see that we had so many participants that we needed two churches!) Their sponsors and the entire community proclaimed our support for these men and women. Truly this was a beautiful moment for everyone.
I invite you to reflect on the questions we said “yes” to before God and the Church:
- Have they listened to God’s word proclaimed by the Church?
- Have they responded to that word and begun to walk in God’s presence?
- Have they shared the company of their Christian brothers and sisters and joined with them in prayer?
- Are you ready to support the testimony expressed about these catechumens/candidates and include them in your prayer and affection as we move toward Easter?
Therefore, how will you and the Church of St. Edward support these men and women seeking to embrace our Catholic faith? Keep them in your prayers during this Lenten season. For further input, feel welcome to contact our RCIA catechist.
Keep the faith! Fr. Brian