Catholic Church in the United States Will Welcome Thousands of New Catholics at Easter Vigil Masses

March 28, 2018 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Dioceses across the country will bewelcoming thousands of people into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigilliturgy on the evening of March 31.  Asthe culmination of the Easter Triduum, the vigilcelebrates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. While people can become Catholic at anytime of the year, the Easter Vigil is a particularly appropriate moment for adult catechumens to be baptized and for already-baptizedChristians to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

About 85 of the nearly 200 dioceses across the nation havereported their numbers of catechumens and candidates for full communion to theU.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Based on these numbers, more than 30,000people are expected to be welcomed into the Church at Easter Vigil Masses thisSaturday. For example, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest diocese inthe United States, will welcome 1,700 catechumens and 1,127 candidates. Among them will be catechumen Tina Robinson. Raised in a Baptist church,Tina eventually started attending a non-denominational church. After she marrieda cradle Catholic, she prayed to God for guidance. A few days later, Tina receivedan invitation to attend St. Bernard's Parish on their front door. "Thatwas my calling" says Tina.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco will welcome 173catechumens and 169 candidates. Among them will be Tina Wok, who had been anominal member of a non-Christian religion and Kent Iglehart, who is alsopreparing for entry into the Catholic Church after his wife, Jacqueline,inspired his conversion. The Diocese of San Diego will welcomea combined 1,091 catechumens and candidates. Among them will be KarrieJohnson. After regular attendance in aChristian church for a number of years, Karrie felt that God might be guidingher toward the Catholic Church. Open tothe possibility, she attended Mass for the first time and had the "profoundfeeling" that she was truly home.

Catechumens,who have never been baptized, will receive Baptism, Confirmation and firstCommunion at the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil. Candidates, who have already been baptized in another Christiantradition, will enter the Church through a profession of faith and reception ofConfirmation and the Eucharist.

The Archdiocese of New York will welcome 400 catechumensand 468 candidates, while the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will welcome 1,536catechumens and 618 candidates. Other archdioceses and dioceses report numbersas follows: Atlanta: 708 catechumens, 1,280 candidates; Charleston: 155catechumens, 337 candidates; Dallas: 1,139 catechumens, 300 candidates; FortWorth: 489 catechumens and candidates; Corpus Christi: 126 catechumens, 46candidates; Tyler: 50 catechumens, 142 candidates; Charlotte: 214 catechumens,401 candidates; Venice in Florida: 193 catechumens, 205 candidates; St.Petersburg, Florida: 350 catechumens; Richmond: 348 catechumens; Baton Rouge:154 catechumens, 194 candidates; Lake Charles: 80 catechumens, 93 candidates; Louisville:200 catechumens, 247 candidates; Lafayette, Louisiana: 50 catechumens, 97candidates; Shreveport: 39 catechumens, 74 candidates; Lexington: 104catechumens, 97 candidates; Mobile: 86 catechumens, 187 candidates; Savannah:95 catechumens, 220 candidates; Pensacola- Tallahassee: 140 catechumens, 126catechumens; Covington, Kentucky: 78 catechumens, 111 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Seattle reports 664 catechumens and429 candidates. Other numbers from the western part of the U.S. include: LasVegas: 148 catechumens, 189 candidates; Salt Lake City: 225 catechumens, 98candidates; Yakima: 151 catechumens, 37 candidates; Oakland: 174 catechumens,382 candidates; Fresno: 527 catechumens, 322 candidates; Reno: 57 catechumens,171 candidates; Pueblo: 76 catechumens, 43 candidates; and the Maronite Eparchyof Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles with 17 catechumens and candidates.Honolulu is also welcoming 208 catechumens, 41 candidates.

Newark will be welcoming 416 catechumens, 657candidates; Trenton: 188 catechumens, 460 candidates; Metuchen, New Jersey: 121 catechumens, 141 candidates; Buffalo: 296catechumens and candidates; Rochester: 91 catechumens, 176 candidates; Paterson:119 catechumens; Portland, Maine: 71 catechumens, 62 candidates; Albany: 44catechumens, 84 candidates; Bridgeport: 46 catechumens, 189 candidates; Hartford:59 catechumens, 55 candidates; Manchester: 71 catechumens, 95 candidates;Springfield, Massachusetts: 43 catechumens, 76 candidates; Worcester: 107catechumens, 42 candidates; Fall River: 27 catechumens, 81 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia reports: 254catechumens, 236 candidates; Pittsburgh: 144 catechumens, 309 candidates; Harrisburg:125 catechumens; Greensburg: 49 catechumens, 65 candidates; the Archdiocese of Washington:576 catechumens, 237 candidates. Others include: Arlington: 198 catechumens,461 candidates; Cleveland: 215 catechumens, 248 candidates; Youngstown: 97catechumens, 145 candidates; Columbus: 200 catechumens, 265 candidates;  Wilmington: 81catechumens; 82 candidates; Green Bay: 101 catechumens and candidates; FortWayne-South Bend: 165 catechumens, 184 candidates; Springfield, Illinois: 109catechumens, 165 candidates; Evansville: 63 catechumens, 110 candidates; Belleville:55 catechumens, 94 candidates; Des Moines: 98 catechumens, 146 candidates; JeffersonCity: 100 catechumens, 127 candidates; Owensboro: 53 catechumens, 156candidates; Saginaw: 89catechumens, 63 candidates; Madison; 31 catechumens, 70 candidates;Altoona-Johnstown: 45 catechumens, 52 candidates; La Crosse: 24 catechumens, 61candidates.

Other dioceses report the following numbers: SaintPaul and Minneapolis: 228 catechumens, 386 candidates; Grand Rapids: 160catechumens, 210 candidates; Oklahoma City: 239 catechumens, 327 candidates;Kansas City, Kansas: 150 catechumens, 250 candidates; Wichita: 154 catechumens,206 candidates; Dodge City: 120catechumens and candidates; Dubuque: 72 catechumens; 120 candidates; Bismarck:46 catechumens, 111 candidates; Fargo: 19 catechumens, 62 candidates; SiouxCity: 21 catechumens, 55 candidates; Gary: 72 catechumens and candidates.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage will also be welcoming 36catechumens and 32 candidates. Theadditional dioceses have also reported the following numbers: St. Cloud: 13 catechumens, 43 candidates; NewUlm, Minnesota: 5 catechumens, 46 candidates; Duluth: 16 catechumens, 49candidates; and Great Falls-Billings: 15 catechumens, 14 candidates.

Keywords: U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Holy Saturday, Eastervigil, Easter Triduum, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA),catechumens, candidates, conversion, baptism, First Communion, Eucharist,confirmation, sacraments, Catholic, archdiocese, diocese, converts