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Record number set to enter Church at Easter


Catechumens -- those who have never been baptized -- sign the Book of the Elect at the Rite of the Election held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross March 9. Pilot photo/Christopher S. Pineo

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SOUTH END -- Nearly 650 of those preparing to enter the Church this Easter gathered at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross Feb. 9 for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion held in cathedrals throughout the world on the First Sunday of Lent.

Due to a large number of catechumens and candidates -- a record number in recent years -- the archdiocese held two ceremonies for the different regions, West, North and South regions at 1:30 p.m. and Central and Merrimack regions at 4:00 p.m.

Catechumens -- those who have never been baptized -- participated in the Rite of Election and candidates -- those who are Christian but not Catholic -- participated in the Call to Continuing Conversion, at both ceremonies.

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley said in his welcoming remarks that the rite begins a journey for the newly initiated to the faith, but also binds the Church universal as Catholics welcome new brethren in the season of Lent throughout the body of the faith.

"We are surrounded by Christians throughout the world who gather today for the Rite of Election, and here in this Church of Boston we rejoice that so many have heard the call of the Lord to follow him as his disciples in the Catholic Church," Cardinal O'Malley said.

Cardinal O'Malley also welcomed the catechumens and candidates with his homily.

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