Catechumens were called by name and introduced to Vancouver Archbishop J. Michael Miller by their godparents or sponsors. Nicholas Elbers

New Catholics share journey to the Church

  • March 30, 2024

This Easter, about 500 men, women and children in the Archdiocese of Vancouver joined or entered into full Communion with the Catholic Church. Catechumens — individuals who are not yet baptized — receive the Church’s sacraments of initiation: baptism, confirmation and First Communion. Candidates who are already baptized will be received into full communion, receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. 

The candidates and catechumens recently attended the Rite of Election at Holy Rosary Cathedral, where they signed the Book of the Elect to indicate their decisions to submit their lives to Christ.

The B.C. Catholic invited some of those who attended to share their experiences as they prepare for the Easter Vigil when they will be received into the Church. 

Junica, Holy Cross Parish, Burnaby

The homily at our Rite of Election truly moved me, as Archbishop Michael Miller spoke, as if directly only to me, about God having chosen us for this path (it is not us who have chosen to find Him). Now during this time of purification and enlightenment, during the quiet time I have reserved to spend with the Lord, I hear Jesus calling me back home to the Catholic Church, and I am so grateful to share this Christian life journey with my family.

I feel truly blessed for finding the amazing community at Holy Cross in Burnaby, and meeting the devoted RCIA team who serve in the important ministry of leading people into a deep relationship with God. My husband and I started our Christian initiation in September 2023, and I have found the delivery of the Catholic teachings through RCIA to be welcoming and identifiable, but also humbling, as we learn about our need for God’s love and grace while highlighting the fullness of the Catholic faith. 

Alex, Star of the Sea Parish, Surrey

I have driven by the Holy Rosary Cathedral numerous times and its grand architecture had always triggered my desire to explore inside. To have the opportunity to walk inside on this special occasion of the Rite of Election was truly an honour for me.

At the Rite of Election, a sense of reverence and solemnity filled my heart as I was officially called to the next stage in my journey toward full initiation into the Catholic Church. The ceremony was such a powerful symbol of the Church’s embrace of us the seekers, who have spent months in preparation. As I stood before Archbishop Michael, I truly felt, through his warm smile and blessings, the acknowledgement and welcome into the community of faith with open arms.

It was a profound and moving experience that marked a pivotal moment in my life. I took another step in answering the call of the Lord and embracing my faith. I will believe in Him, worship Him and follow Him in the new chapter of my life.

Jim, Star of the Sea Parish, Surrey

I came to Canada in 1952 and lived in the east side of Vancouver where I went to school. Most of my neighbours were Italian Catholic. My wife, Alice, was baptized in 1977 and every Sunday we attended church together. 

For almost 50 years I attended Mass with Alice. My children are all Catholic. Then, last year I learned about RCIA being offered at Good Shepherd Church and decided it was finally my turn. With the blessing of my whole Catholic family, at the age of 82, I am now preparing to be baptized this Easter. 

The Rite of Election, Feb. 18, is a date that I will remember for life — seeing so many other parishes attending the Mass at the cathedral, meeting Archbishop Miller in person and having a photo taken with the Star of the Sea Parish RCIA group. I felt a sense of belonging. I am happy to know that Jesus loves me.

Jack, Star of the Sea Parish, Surrey

As I look back on my journey to the Rite of Election, it’s like finding a light in the darkness. I didn’t have any faith. I didn’t believe in anything beyond what I could see. 

But then, something changed within me. I started seeking, asking questions about the meaning of life and what lies beyond. Discovering the Catholic faith was like finding a treasure I never knew existed.

The Rite of Election was a pivotal moment for me. Surrounded by others on the same journey, I felt a sense of belonging and purpose. It’s like I finally found my place in the world.

Now, as one of the elect, I’m filled with a sense of wonder and excitement. The final steps before Easter are a time of preparation and reflection. Each day brings new discoveries and challenges, but I know I’m not alone. The support of my sponsors, my parish community and the Church at large has been a guiding light.

My journey from disbelief to faith has been a remarkable one. The Rite of Election is not just a ceremony but a symbol of my transformation. I’m grateful for this opportunity and eager to continue growing in my newfound faith as I prepare to embrace the sacraments of initiation.

Michael, St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Coquitlam 

At RCIA, I have found a welcoming space where I feel a sense of belonging, as if I have been accepted into a big and loving family.

The Rite of Election was a big part of my spiritual journey. During the ceremony, I felt something great, like the Holy Spirit was right there with me. This experience filled me with a deep sense of faith and commitment. It was a clear and heartfelt confirmation of my choice to be a part of the Catholic faith. 

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