My Dear Fellow Parishioners,
It was my great joy last Sunday to accompany 13 people from our parish, along with their godparents and families, to St. Julie Billiart Church in Newbury Park where they celebrated the Rite of Election with Bishop Robert Barron. This rite is an important ceremony, conducted on the First Sunday of Lent in every diocese of the world, with the adults, teens, and school-age children who will be baptized at the upcoming Easter Vigil.
After the Rite of Election, these candidates are referred to as the “Elect.” Our parish community is blessed this year to have 13 Elect: April Arguelles, Abigail Booth, Brittany Carruth, Shay Carruth, Joshua Castillo, Trinity Gunnels, Adan Guzman, Alonzo Guzman, Robert Henson, Daniel Mendoza, Isabel Mendoza, Alina Miller and Bryan Petrie.
Since the Rite of Election happened to fall this year on a 3-day holiday weekend, some of our Elect gave up family trips in order to celebrate the Rite. This speaks highly of their understanding of the importance of Baptism.
Sometimes we forget the importance of our own baptisms, perhaps because we were infants when carried to the font. The 40 days of Lent are designed by our Church, in her wisdom, to prepare not only the Elect for their baptisms at Easter, but to prepare all of us to renew our own baptismal promises, spoken long ago by our parents and godparents.
“Election” means choice. Our Elect have been chosen by God, as have we, to be disciples of Jesus and to embrace his mission as our own. Baptism is not meant to be just for our personal salvation. Rather, it is for the salvation of the whole world! We are baptized into the Body of Christ to be Christ's eyes, ears, mouth, heart, hands, and feet in the world today. We all have been given the gifts and talents necessary to continue Jesus’ mission, each in our own unique way and according to our particular circumstances.
May our Lenten practices this year help us to recognize our gifts in order to follow Jesus more closely and with greater generosity. During the coming weeks, let us journey together with our Elect to the waters of the font, eager to renew our mission as disciples!
Coordinator of Initiation