KOTA KINABALU – Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish here accepted a total number of 174 inquirers into the Order of Catechumenate over the weekend of 28-29 Nov 2015 – the First Sunday of Advent. Around 45 adults and 28 children were accepted during the 6 pm English Sunset Mass Nov 28 while 90 adults and 11 children were accepted during the 10:45 am BM Mass Nov 29. Another 29 inquirers would be accepted during the 7 am Chinese Mass Dec 6.
The first of the public rituals celebrated in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the Rite of Acceptance into the order of Catechumens (for unbaptized Catechumens) and the Rite of Welcome (for baptized adult candidates preparing to celebrate Confirmation and Eucharist in the Catholic Church). An important moment in the Rite is when each candidate is asked if they are ready to accept the Gospel Way of Life. Their affirmation is a public expression of their intention to follow the way of Jesus Christ. The candidates are also marked by the sign of the cross by our priest and their sponsors. With this ancient mark, they are claimed for Christ. Part of the rite is the giving of the Bible to each catechumen after the homily.
After being placed in formal relationship with the Church through the Rite of Acceptance and Welcoming, the Catechumens (unbaptized) and Candidates (baptized) enter a period of receiving gradual and systematic instruction in the teachings of the Catholic Faith based on the Catechism, as well as a time of formation in prayer and works of charity. They also receive special blessings and prayers and participate on Sundays in the Breaking Open the Word-a shared discussion on the meaning of the Scriptures for their lives.