This morning about eighty-one mostly young people participated in the rite of election in the church in Dulce Nombre.
They have been in the catechumenate process here since last September and hope to be baptized and confirmed in the Easter Vigil.
The rite is simple – they are presented to the priest and the assembly after the homily. The priest inquires about their readiness. They then are inscribed as the elect.
When it came to the inscription we had to do something different. Instead of having each person write her or his name in a book, we had all write their name on slips of paper which they then placed in a bowl at the front of the church.
With 81 persons, this made the rite a little less hectic.
I watched as they placed their names in the container. In some I saw a spark of life, a sense of peace, a quiet joy.
They are all very different, but in many ways they are a cross section of the young people here – mostly poor. Some cannot even write (and so had someone write their names for them.) Many are working in their family’s fields. A few are studying. Most are a little shy and not very talkative.
They were dismissed and a few catechists and we spent a little time with them. Then I had them wait at the back of the church for Mass to end so that people could greet them.
It was a blessed day.
The newly elect have just a few weeks until they are baptized.
I have been joking with the catechists that these are the elect, but not those elected in the governmental elections. They are chosen by the faith community, the Church, to become a part of this Body of Christ present in the world.
Pray they may be faithful.
|One of the elect waiting for a ride home after Mass|