Thousands of New Catholics to Be Welcomed by Catholic Church in the United States at Easter Vigil

WASHINGTON—A married couple in their golden years, a couple inspiredby their late daughter's legacy, and a salesman who heard Jesus' call toconversion on a stranger's porch, are among the thousands who will be welcomedinto the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil, April 15, in parishes across theUnited S

WASHINGTON—A married couple in their golden years, a couple inspiredby their late daughter's legacy, and a salesman who heard Jesus' call toconversion on a stranger's porch, are among the thousands who will be welcomedinto the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil, April 15, in parishes across theUnited States. All have participated in the Rite of Christian Initiation ofAdults (RCIA), a process of conversion and study in the Catholic faith forcatechumens and candidates coming into full communion with the Church.

Catechumens, who have never been baptized, will receivebaptism, confirmation and first Communion at the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil. Candidates,who have already been baptized in another Christian tradition whose baptism isrecognized by the Catholic Church, will enter the Church through a professionof faith and reception of confirmation and the Eucharist.

In the Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan, 175 catechumensand 249 candidates will receive the sacraments. Among them, Mac, 90, and BarbHarless, 85, who will join the Church this Easter after finding their parish, St.John Paul II Church in Cedar Springs, a source of prayer, peace and hope duringBarb's battle with cancer.

In the Diocese of Rochester, New York, the RCIA involvementof Dan and Michaela Cady –along with their sons Aidan, 15, Solas, 12, and Merritt, 10 –was spurred by a family tragedy. Two years ago their daughter and sisterKennis, then 12, died suddenly. "It just turned our heads aboutlife," Dan Cady said. He added that his family was grateful for thesupport it received from the staff of St. Jerome Parish in East Rochester, andfrom there opted to pursue RCIA. As the Cadys advance on their faith journey,Dan said he's confident his daughter is watching over them: "We would liketo think it's orchestrated by her," he said. Some of the family memberswill receive the sacraments this year, and others next year.

While in Orlando, Florida, Jarrid Perusse of Most PreciousBlood Parish in Oviedo said he, "got saved on a porch" during a summerinternship as a door-to-door salesman. He realized that God was reaching out tohim, and "it was my turn to start reaching back," he said.

About 60 of the nearly 200 dioceses in the United States reportednumbers for 2017 to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Archdiocese ofLos Angeles, the largest diocese in the United States, will welcome 1,756 catechumensand 938 candidates; while the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston reports 1,667 catechumensand 708 candidates; and the Archdiocese of Washington reports 483 catechumensand 698 candidates.

Other archdioceses report the following totals: Archdioceseof Seattle: 679 catechumens and 409 candidates; Archdiocese of St. Paul andMinneapolis: 201 catechumens, 623 candidates; Archdiocese of Philadelphia: 235 catechumens,322 candidates; Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky: 227 catechumens, 279 candidates;Archdiocese of Oklahoma City reports 290 catechumens, 368 candidates; Archdioceseof San Francisco: 174 catechumens, 207 candidates; Archdiocese of Newark: 499catechumens, 693 candidates; Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa: 63 catechumens, 94 candidates;Archdiocese of Miami: 524 catechumens, 214 candidates; Archdiocese of Atlanta: 722 catechumens and 1,170 candidates.

In California, the Diocese of Stockton will welcome 284 candidatesand 532 catechumens; Diocese of Oakland reports 176 catechumens and 376 candidates;the Diocese of San Diego reports 333 catechumens and 635 candidates; and the Dioceseof Fresno will welcome 593 catechumens and 56 candidates; the Diocese of SanJose reports 496 catechumens and candidates.

In Florida, the Diocese of St. Petersburg reports 456 catechumensand 514 candidates; the Diocese of Orlando reports 586 catechumens andcandidates; the Diocese of Palm Beach reports 147 catechumens and 474candidates; and the Diocese of Venice reports 169 catechumens, 219 candidates.

In New York, the Diocese of Rockville Centre reports 232 catechumens327 candidates; the Diocese of Rochester reports 96 catechumens and 149 candidates; the Diocese of Buffalo reports 56 catechumensand 105 candidates; the Diocese ofSyracuse reports 49 catechumens and 70 candidates.

Other dioceses reporting hundreds of catechumens andcandidates include: Diocese of Dallas: 945 catechumens and 1,230 candidates; Dioceseof Little Rock, Arkansas: 252 catechumens and 324 candidates; Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana:187 catechumens and 208 candidates; Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah: 273 catechumens,153 candidates; Diocese of Tyler, Texas: 120 catechumens and 270 candidates;Diocese of Charleston, South Carolina: 160 catechumens and 317 candidates;Diocese of Pittsburgh: 444 catechumens and candidates; Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut: 78 catechumensand 241 candidates; Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri: 106 catechumens and172 candidates; Diocese of Tucson, Arizona: 111 candidates and 209 catechumens;Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio: 97 catechumens and 130 candidates; Diocese ofCamden, New Jersey: 174 catechumens; Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey: 195catechumens and candidates; Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey: 125 catechumensand 200 candidates; Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts: 114 catechumens and101 candidates; Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts: 53 catechumens and 105 candidates;Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire:  95candidates and 67 catechumens; Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware: 101 catechumensand 152 candidates; Diocese of Belleville, Illinois: 54 catechumens and 120 candidates;Diocese of Springfield, Illinois: 160 catechumens and 159 candidates; Dioceseof Yakima, Washington: 115 catechumens, 145 candidates; Diocese of LaFayette,Louisiana: 55 catechumens and  96 candidates;Diocese of Reno, Nevada: 139 catechumens and 40 candidates; Diocese ofGreensburg, Pennsylvania: 92 candidates and 44 catechumens; Diocese ofSteubenville, Ohio: 39 catechumens and 52 candidates; Diocese of Rapid City: 27catechumens, 83 candidates; Diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana: 40 catechumens, 89candidates; the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut: 97 catechumens, 313candidates; Diocese of Memphis, Tennessee: 60 catechumens, 200 candidates;Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan: 49 catechumens, 63 candidates; Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey: 200 catechumens, 508 candidates; Diocese of San Angelo, Texas: 221 catechumens, 264 candidates.

In Minnesota, the Diocese of St. Cloud reports 17catechumens, 76 candidates; Diocese of Crookston: 8 catechumens, 25 candidates;Diocese of Winona: 42 catechumens, 112 candidates; Diocese of Duluth: 11catechumens, 69 candidates.

These numbers are based on participation in the Rite ofElection and Call to Continuing Conversion, the final phase of the RCIA processcelebrated at the beginning of Lent.

Not included are infant baptisms that according to the 2016Official Catholic Directory (OCD) totaled 683,712 for the year 2015. The OCDalso reported that there were 39,721 adult baptisms and 71,809 people receivedinto full communion during the same year, the latest with complete statisticaldata.


Keywords: Holy Saturday, RCIA, Rite of ChristianInitiation of Adults, catechumens, candidates,Rite of Election, Call to Continuing Conversion, baptism, First Communion,Eucharist, confirmation, sacraments, Easter vigil, Catholic, archdiocese,diocese, converts

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