Courage of candidates, a reminder of the gift of faith, says Perth Archbishop

17 Mar 2022

By Amanda Murthy

Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB was the celebrant at the Rite of Election celebration held on Thursday, 10 March at St Mary’s Cathedral Perth. There will be a second celebration held on Thursday, 17 March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Photo: Ron Tan.

The courage of candidates who receive the Rite of Election is a reminder of the wonderful gift of faith which we as Catholics can often take for granted, said Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB at a Rite of Election celebration held on Thursday, 10 March at St Mary’s Cathedral Perth.

“Your presence here tonight, and your ongoing presence in the local Catholic community of which you will become a part, will be a powerful reminder to us of just how important faith is,” Archbishop Costelloe said to the catechumens and candidates present.

“Your faith will strengthen ours and this can’t help but make our witness to the world in which we all live so much more powerful and credible.”

The choir leading on the hymns at the Rite of Election celebration held on Thursday, 10 March at St Mary’s Cathedral Perth. The second celebration will be held on Thursday, 17 March due to COVID-19 restrictions. Photo: Ron Tan.

This year, 21 parishes across the Archdiocese welcomed 48 catechumens (those who are not baptised) and 39 candidates (those already baptised in a Christian denomination) who have been journeying for several months praying and discerning through prayer whether they can commit themselves to a new way of life within the Catholic Church.

Rite of Election celebrations were split to two groups because of COVID-19 restrictions, with the second service scheduled for the evening of Thursday, 17 March.

Concelebrants for the celebration include Vicar General and Vicar for Effective Communications and Archdiocesan Growth and Development Father Peter Whitely, Vicar for Education and Adult Faith Formation Fr Vincent Glynn and St Mary’s Cathedral Dean, Rev Dr Sean Fernandez.

Vicar for Education and Adult Faith Formation Fr Vincent Glynn engages with candidates at the Rite of Election celebration held on 10 March at St Mary’s Cathedral Perth. Photo: Ron Tan.

In his homily, Archbishop Costelloe spoke about seeking God and the journey of faith, inspired by the words written by Saint Augustine of Hippo in his autobiography titled ‘Confessions of St Augustine.’

The book, written in the form of a prayer, speaks about the idea of seeking God is at the very centre of the journey of life and faith.

“….In many ways the whole journey of faith which unfolds in Saint Augustine’s Confessions is summed up in these words which we find within the body of the text: “You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you,” Archbishop Costelloe said.

“Tonight, through this Rite of Election, you take a very significant step in your own journey of life and faith – entering full communion with all your brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church will not automatically resolve all your challenges or answer all your questions.

“You will discover and, I hope, will not be too surprised to discover, that Catholics are as much a mixed bag as any other group of people. But you will also discover, and should expect and hope to discover, that in this community of faith you will also find companions on your journey, fellow pilgrims who like you are seeking to still their restless hearts and find their peace in God,” Archbishop Costelloe added.

“In the end, in and through belonging to this community of faith, you will find Jesus, who says to you tonight, as surely as he said to his first disciples, “Come to me all you who labour and overburdened, and I will give you rest.”

Director for the Office of Christian Initiation Dr Carmel Suart told The Record that the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process does not happen in parishes without the love, dedication, and pastoral care of the RCIA Teams and the support from the Parish Priest. 

“Pope Francis claims this ministry “is a vocation; it’s a mission… It’s an entire way of being.” He said the Church needs “good catechists who are both companions and teachers…. summoned to announce the Word of God,” that they might “be its witnesses, with courage and creativity, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, with joy and much peace.”

This event, Dr Suart added, marks the acceptance by the Church that “these people who have been elected by God, to progress towards receiving the Sacraments of initiation at Easter. Those chosen by God, are expected to be initiated into a life in Christ, which necessarily means of a life of mission.”

Click Here to download the Homily.