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Bishop Burbidge welcomes future Catholics

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This article was updated 3/9 with additional photos from the Rite of Election at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ridge. 

In 2017, Taylor Darnaby was in a terrible car accident, but emerged without a scratch. His fiancee, Maggie O’Brien, credits St. Sebastian for savings Darnaby’s life since a blessed medal was in his car. The whole experience prompted Darnaby, who was baptized Methodist, to look into Catholicism. 

“I felt like I needed to do something about it,” said Darnaby, who attends Corpus Christi Church in South Riding with O’Brien, who is also his sponsor. “Someone was watching over me.”

Darnaby joined 176 catechumens, or people who have not been baptized, 197 candidates, their godparents, sponsors, family and friends at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington for the Rite of Election March 1. Bishop Michael F. Burbidge will welcome 87 catechumens and 137 candidates at the March 8 Rite of Election at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ridge. 

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge thanked the candidates and catechumens for saying “yes” to God and encouraged Catholics to be a witness to those preparing to enter the church. “The church and all of us will accompany you as you continue this journey, as you seek to grow in knowledge of our Catholic faith but most especially as you strive to deepen your intimate relationship with the Lord,” he said.

Catechumens from each parish then walked up to the sanctuary and offered their names for enrollment, and Bishop Burbidge declared them to be members of the elect. Godparents and sponsors placed their hands on the shoulders of those preparing to enter the church at Easter as a sign of receiving the men and women into their care. Bishop Burbidge then prayed over the elect and the candidates. 

Candidate Dwight Hayes, who attends St. Ambrose Church in Annandale, felt grateful for God’s grace as he journeyed from non-denominational Christianity to Anglicanism to Catholicism.  “I feel God is leading me into a deeper relationship with his son Jesus Christ,” he said. 

 

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020

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