Catechumen and candidate numbers well

catechumen and candidate numbers

Catechumen and candidate numbers in Brisbane and Sydney dioceses are continuing to rise as hundreds of people are choosing to become Catholic.

They – catechumens (those who have never been baptised) and candidates (who have been baptised, but not as Catholics) – will all become members of the Catholic Church this Easter.

Numbers up

In Brisbane, the Easter Vigil at St Stephen’s Cathedral will see 128 catechumens baptised and 70 candidates received into the Church.

At Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral, catechumen and candidate numbers are even more impressive, having nearly tripled in three years.

They have risen from 107 in 2021, to 179 in 2023, and to 266 this year.

Rite of Election

One of the last steps on the journey to becoming a Catholic involves the Rite of Election.

At this, they are presented to their parish as people about to join them as parish family members.

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) organisers actually love the Rite of Election. They love seeing each person to be received into the Church at Easter, hearing their name called out and receiving words of support from their family and friends.

It’s a “beautiful moment” to see them take their next step in their faith journey says Arnaud Hurdoyal, Evangelisation Brisbane’s adult formation officer.

“It’s also the culmination of a lot of hard work.”

Parishes have been doing a great job responding positively to people wanting to “learn more about who Jesus is” she added.

“It’s amazing the impact that this has on the people who are journeying with the catechumens and candidates as well.

The Rite of Election has roots in traditions held since the early centuries of the Church. It has existed in its current form since the promulgation of the RCIA in 1972.

It is one of two annual liturgical celebrations for a diocese – the other being Chrism Mass.

Simon Yeak is the RCIA Co-ordinator at the Sydney Centre for Evangelisation. He is delighted with the support given to catechumens and candidates at the Rite of Election.

“It was incredible to see not a single pew free in the entire Cathedral” he says.

“The response from catechumens and candidates that I personally know said that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that they would not soon forget.”


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