The process begins when a person responds to God’s invitation; the individual’s “Yes, I want to know more!” It is this yes to the movement of God in his/her life which is referred to as the call. This seeking of a deeper relationship with God is the start of a life-long journey.
There is no fixed length of time to this period of Inquiry with its introduction to who Jesus is, how we meet him in the everyday, and how we build a relationship with him. It is an opportunity for the team members and other members of the parish to share their faith stories, and listen carefully to the stories of the inquirers. The Team answer questions about the Church, faith, and living the Christian life; they are interested in hearing about the journey of those who will walk with them.
Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens
This Liturgical Rite marks the beginning of the Catechumenate proper, as the candidates express during Sunday Liturgy their desire to respond to God’s call to follow the way of Christ. [All Rites happen in the Church with the Community who will support them through prayer and presence on their journey.]
It is a time of nurturing through the reading and sharing of scripture, prayer, and discussion on Catholic beliefs, sacraments, and liturgy.
Election or Enrollment of Names
In this Liturgical Rite, celebrated on the First Sunday of Lent, the Church formally recognizes the catechumen’s readiness for the Sacraments of Initiation as she/he meets the Bishop of the Diocese and write her/his name in “The Book of the Elect”. Now no longer called a Catechumen, but an Elect.
Period of Purification and Enlightenment
The period immediately preceding the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil is a time of reflection which is centered on conversion, marked by the celebration of the Scrutinies and the Preparation Rite on Holy Saturday.
Celebration of the sacraments of Initiation
The Celebration of the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist takes place at the Easter Vigil. No longer are they the Elect, but Neophytes – those newly received into the Catholic Church.
Post-baptismal Catechesis and Mystagogy
This time (usually the Easter season) follows the celebration of the Sacraments when the newly initiated fully experience their membership in the Christian community by means of breaking-open the mysteries that they have received, and particularly, by participation with all teh faithful in the Sunday Eucharistic celebration (Rites 14).