Skip to comments.Easter Conversion ‘Boom’?
Posted on 04/01/2014 3:33:46 AM PDT by markomalley
Speaking of the prospect of becoming a Catholic at this years Easter vigil, Sheila Bidzinski, a 36-year-old mother of two little boys, excitedly admits, I hope I wont pass out, but I have told my husband he has to get behind me in case he has to catch me.
When Bidzinski, who has been studying the Catholic faith with a group at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Derwood, Md., comes into the Church, she will be participating in what one commentator has dubbed a boom.
The Archdiocese of Washington, where Bidzinskis parish is located, will welcome the largest number of candidates and catechumens ever recorded for the archdiocese this Easter. The archdiocese will baptize or confirm 1,311 adults, children and teenagers this Easter.
What we have seen for the past three years is a steady, incremental increase [in the number of people coming into the Church at Easter], said Sara Blauvelt, director for catechesis of the Archdiocese of Washington. Blauvelt said that she finds it particularly exciting that there has been a significant increase in the number of catechumens.
Catechumens are people who have never been baptized into any Christian church, while candidates are those who have been baptized and are seeking full communion with the Catholic Church.
More than half the people coming into the Church in Washington this Easter will be catechumens.
To be baptized as an adult is a remarkable thing, and it shows that something has changed in this persons life, Blauvelt said.
(Excerpt) Read more at ncregister.com ...
Canidiates are also those Catholics that need to finish up their initation sacraments.
As an adult convert and knowing others, staying an active particpant in the church is the norm, not the exception.
**The archdiocese will baptize or confirm 1,311 adults, children and teenagers this Easter.**
I think numbers are similar all over.
In the Diocese of Cleveland, the number of catechumens and candidates is 511. That's 100 more than a year ago, with many of those coming into the Church crediting Pope Francis with influencing their decision, diocesan officials report.
Bishop Robert Lynch of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla. — where around 1,100 new Catholics will be welcomed at the Easter vigil — blogged on the diocesan website that this is the largest number in his 18 years as bishop there.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Boston Archdiocese welcomed a larger-than-usual crowd to the Rite of Election at his Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The number of catechumens and candidates — about 650 — necessitated two separate ceremonies.
After the two ceremonies, a pleased Cardinal O’Malley blogged, “It was the largest group that we have had in recent memory and about 100 more than last year. Perhaps it is the ‘Francis Effect.’ I do not know!”
As might be expected for a diocese in the South, the Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky. — which is welcoming 448 new Catholics at Easter, a number consistent with other years — often has candidates who grew up Southern Baptist.
Father Rob Walsh, chaplain of the Catholic Student Center at the University of Maryland in the Washington Archdiocese, is excited that 20 students are coming into the Church at the Easter vigil.
260 coming into the Church in the Archdiocese of Hartford this coming Easter.