Candidates, catechumens fill cathedral in Arlington for Rite of Election

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The Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington filled with candidates and catechumens Feb. 18 for the Rite of Election. There were 198 catechumens and 290 candidates from 32 parishes.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge presided as the candidates and catechumens declared their intentions and commitment to the church. The Book of the Elect was brought forth by catechumens from each parish. 

The participants have varied reasons for wanting to enter more fully into the Catholic Church. Candidate Lyndon Diaz, who will enter at St. James Church in Falls Church, said he is joining to deepen his faith. “My mom is someone who really wanted me to become fully involved in the Catholic Church and she recently passed away,” he said. 

Lacinda Coughlin, a candidate of St. Joseph Church in Herndon, said it was a long process to decide. After having a child, “I came to the realization of how important it was to be solid in my faith and to pass that on,” she said. 

For some, the journey begins with an invitation. Taylor Johnson is a catechumen joining St. John Neumann Church in Reston. “I grew up Christian and I was first invited by a friend to attend Mass,” she said. “I saw people living God’s word and sharing Jesus’ love and I was very drawn to that.”

The second Rite of Election ceremony will be Feb. 25 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Woodbridge at 2:30 p.m.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018