Rite of Election 2020: Final stage to become one with the Church

17 Apr 2020

By Amanda Murthy

Archdiocese of Perth’s Vicar General, the Very Rev Fr Peter Whitely VG, greeting the candidates at the Rite of Election Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on 5 March. Photo: Ron Tan.

By Amanda Murthy

The Church believes that no-one comes to faith without being called by God – God initiates, God calls and God converts, said Dr Carmel Suart, Director for the Office of Christian Initiation.

Dr Suart addressed the St Mary’s Cathedral congregation during her opening speech at the start of the Liturgy on Thursday, 5 March.

“Our celebration today recognises that God is indeed calling people into the life of the Church, through the process of Christian Initiation,” she said.
The annual Rite of Election liturgy this year saw 65 Catechumens receive the Rite, and 34 Candidates be formally recognised.

The Liturgy was celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton, who was joined by concelebrants Vicar General Father Peter Whitely, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy Fr Brian McKenna, Cathedral Dean Rev Dr Sean Fernandez and assisted by Permanent Deacon Trevor Lyra.

Representatives from parishes across the Archdiocese of Perth participated in various parts of the liturgy, including the Rite of Election community choir, assisting in the presentation of scrolls, and leading in the prayers and readings of the day.

The symbolic items used at the Rite of Election Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday 5 March. Photo: Ron Tan.

Speaking to the congregation during his homily, Bishop Sproxton drew attention to the first reading of the day, which perfectly explains “God’s plan for us”.

“The reading (Isaiah 43:1-13) presented the plan of God for each person, beginning with our creation by his hand, done from the deepest of love,” Bishop Sproxton recounted.

“The prophet realised that we are created in the image and likeness of God. Added to this, he understood the significance of our names. The names that we have indicate that we are unique and unrepeatable.

“The experience of our families shows very clearly that there are no repeats of human persons, even our names clearly differentiate us, we are unique and God knows and loves each of us by name. God chooses to deal with each of us personally in an ongoing way throughout our lives.”

… God chooses to deal with each of us personally in an ongoing way throughout our lives.

Bishop Sproxton went on to state that it is that uniqueness that makes every person’s journey of faith so “special and inspiring”.

“It is through the hearing of those stories that we come to know and love God at work within us,” Bishop Sproxton cited.

Perth Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton interacting with candidates during the Rite of Election Mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, 5 March. Photo: Ron Tan.

Addressing the catechumens and candidates personally, Bishop Sproxton bestowed his blessings, with prayers that their final stage of the process towards Baptism and full initiation into the Church will be filled with some beautiful moments ahead of the Easter Vigil celebrations.

“There are a few beautiful moments ahead before you arrive at the Easter Vigil celebrations,” he continued.

“Among these will be the rites when you will be presented and entrusted with the Apostolic Creed and the great prayer of Jesus: the Our Father.

“We rejoice with you and we pray earnestly for you as you come near to the great celebration of the victory of Christ over sin and death in the Easter Vigil.

“We are your brothers and sisters in the faith – my prayer is that we grow in faith together,” Bishop Sproxton concluded.

The congregation enjoyed light refreshments and were seen networking after the Mass.

From pages 20 to 21 of Issue 24: Soul: ‘Nurturing the Spiritual Principle in Us’ of The Record Magazine