Phone: 216-696-6525

Toll Free: 1-800-869-6525

Address: 1404 East 9th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114

Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
News

  Share this Page

Back to news list

Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral

News of the Diocese

February 22, 2024

Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral
Candidates, catechumens participate in annual Rite of Election at cathedral

Nearly 550 candidates and catechumens from across the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland took another step in their spiritual formation during the annual Rite of Election.

A pair of liturgies took place on Feb. 18 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Auxiliary Bishop Michael Woost presided at the first one, at 2:30 p.m., with Bishop Edward Malesic celebrating the 5:30 p.m. liturgy. Students from Saint Mary Seminary assisted with both liturgies.

Although they were not Masses, the liturgies included some of the Mass components, including two readings – one from each the Old Testament and New Testament – a Gospel reading, intercessions and a homily.

Combined, 286 catechumens and 259 candidates representing about 78 parishes – plus their godparents and guests – participated in the two sessions.

(See images from both liturgies in the photo gallery above.)

Catechumens are those who are new to the Church and who are unbaptized. They will be initiated into the Church, receiving sacraments of baptism, Eucharist and confirmation, during the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday (March 30).

Candidates for full communion in the Church are those who have been baptized in a Christian church but who are not catechized in the Catholic faith. They will come into full communion with the Church – the call to continuing conversion – and will receive the sacraments of the Eucharist and confirmation at the Easter Vigil.

Catechumens with their godparents were led by a parish representative holding the Book of the Elect that included their names, were called forward by parish to meet the bishop.

Candidates were called forward en masse with their godparents to join the bishop in the sanctuary.

In the first liturgy, during his homily, Bishop Woost asked the catechumens to stand. “I want you to remember these two lines and please repeat them after me. I am chosen, we are chosen.” At the Last Supper, he said Jesus told his Apostles that they did not choose him. Rather, “I chose you,” he said.

“You can be assured you are here because Christ has chosen you to be his disciples,” the bishop said. “All of us were chosen to be members of the Body of Christ. You are not making the journey alone. Many others will accompany you.”

He then asked the candidates to stand, to repeat and remember this: “I am called to be holy.” By virtue of their baptism, he said each of them already was called by Christ. Now they are being called to grow in their life of holiness.

“And don’t think the rest of you are getting out of this,” Bishop Woost quipped, addressing others in the congregation. “You are already part of the Church and you have a line to remember: we are saints becoming saints. The sacraments continue to strengthen and nourish us to become what god always intended us to be, saints. You are not doing this alone. Encourage one another. I am chosen. We are chosen. I am called to be holy. We are called to be holy. I am a saint becoming a saint. We re saints becoming saints.”

He said in a few minutes, the catechumens would be called forth, with the process repeating for the candidates. The rest of the faithful are responsible for holding them up in prayer “so we can all become what God intended us to be: saints becoming saints.”

During the second liturgy, Bishop Malesic welcomed all to the cathedral, noting the Church is vibrant and they are passing on the faith. “The Church is made of living stones. The Church is quite alive in the Diocese of Cleveland and I am happy to call each of you my brothers and sisters,” he added.

The bishop told the congregation there was a time when he wasn’t as serious about his faith because he wasn’t ready to be close to the Church. He always believed in Jesus and knew he was important in his life, but he didn’t have a deep, personal relationship with him yet. “That took some time. And he (Jesus) never gave up on me. In fact, he never gives up on any of us.”

He said he knows the Catholic Church is the one true church because there is only one answer about who founded it: Jesus. “We’re linked to our founder through apostolic succession. We’re not perfect, but Jesus kept his word to us. We are still here and strong in faith. Christ picks us up time and time again and our founder, Jesus, continues to grow in power and persuasion.”

He said the catechumens and candidates were called to become closer to the Church through the sacraments and the Holy Spirit reminds us of all Jesus taught us. We believe the sacraments we celebrate are the ones Jesus gave us. He is especially present in the Eucharist. “What Jesus said at the Last Supper is what he says to us today, at the head of his Church, in this cathedral.

“Jesus is loving each of you into the Church,” Bishop Malesic said. “We are not alone. We walk together; we are a Church together.”

Sometimes we are so close to our faith that we fail to see its beauty and truth, the bishop said. “You are a gift to us,” he told the catechumens. “You have the distinct ability to remind us cradle Catholics how much you treasure this faith. You elect will soon know the joy of god washing away your sins.”

Reflecting on the Bible story of Noah’s ark, Bishop Malesic said the ark or a boat – is considered a symbol of salvation. “Jesus takes you from shore to shore in another boat – the Church – as we move forward. At Easter, we will renew our baptismal promises with you,” he told the catechumens, noting they will be welcomed into the new life of the Church.

Others in the boat – the candidates – will receive the Eucharist and confirmation, “making you one with us. Use the new graces you will receive to move you forward. Never stand still. Jesus always tells us to move forward. God works his will through you,” the bishop said, noting there is much work to do, such as combatting things like racism, prejudice, violence, war and more. “We need saints to counter the craziness of today.”

He said the catechumens and candidates should take the joy of their new faith into the world and let it permeate their homes and work places. “Your Faith journey must continue long after Easter. To keep your faith alive, use it and renew it. Welcome to this spiritual family. Welcome home,” the bishop added.

After each liturgy, the bishops spent time greeting the catechumens, candidates, godparents and guests and posing for photos.

Anyone interested in joining the Church or coming into full communion with the Church can contact a local parish. Click here for a list of parishes in the diocese. For additional information or

Subscribe! Sign up to receive news & updates.

Share This

Close

Photo Gallery

1 of 22