By Patrick Downes
Hawaii Catholic Herald
Hawaii’s catechumens, also called the elect, will make public their intention to be baptized at this year’s Easter Vigil, March 31, at five Rites of Election on four islands where they sign their names in their parish’s Book of the Elect for presentation to the bishop or bishop’s representative.
The catechumens will also receive the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist, which, with Baptism, are called the sacraments of initiation.
Easter is also the time for those who are already baptized, but who have not received one or both of the other sacraments of initiation, to do so and be received into “full communion” with the church. This takes place preferably at a time other than the Easter Vigil.
Both the catechumens and those being received into full communion have prepared for the sacraments through the year-long Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA, or the Rite of Christian Initiation of Children, RCIC.
Here is the schedule for the Rites of Election:
- East Big Island Vicariate: Saturday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m., St. Joseph Church, Hilo, Liturgy of the Word with vicar forane Father Paul Li
- West Big Island Vicariate: Saturday, Feb. 17, 5 p.m., St. Michael Church, Kona, Mass with vicar forane Father Konelio Faletoi
- Kauai Vicariate: Saturday, Feb. 17, 5 p.m., St. Catherine Church, Kapaa, Mass with vicar forane Father Anthony Rapozo
- Maui Vicariate: Saturday, Feb. 17, 5:30 p.m., St. Theresa Church, Kihei, Mass with Bishop Larry Silva
- Oahu Vicariates: Sunday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m., Co-Cathedral of St. Theresa, Honolulu, Liturgy of the Word with Bishop Larry Silva
At the Rites of Election, catechumens sign their names in their parish’s Book of the Elect, signifying their desire to be received into the church at Easter. The pastor or parish RCIA coordinator then presents the book to the bishop or vicar for his signature.
Besides the Rite of Election, those preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation generally experience two other parish-based rites during their catechumenate or preparation period.
One is the rite of first anointing by a priest or deacon using the Oil of Catechumens, celebrated, according to the Office of Worship, “whenever this seems beneficial or desirable … at least once during the catechumenate.”
The other is the Rite of Sending Catechumens for Election which is done preferably at a liturgy on the Sunday prior to the Rite of Election.
Last year Hawaii saw 212 catechumens received into the Catholic faith.