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KOTA KINABALU – One thousand two hundred and nineteen catechumens entered into the final stage of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process on 5 March 2017, first Sunday of Lent, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here during the Rite of Election.
Archbishop John Wong officiated the trilingual Rite of Election. The catechumens, their sponsors/godparents, facilitators and parish pastors, gathered at the cathedral for the rite. The catechumens publicly expressed their desire for baptism. Their names were recorded in their respective parish books which were duly presented to the prelate by the coordinators for his signature. They are now called the Elect.
The days of Lent are the final Period of Purification and Enlightenment leading up to the Easter Vigil. Lent is a period of preparation marked by prayer, study, and spiritual direction for the Elect, and prayers for them by the parish communities. The Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation takes place during the Easter Vigil Liturgy on Holy Saturday, Apr 15, and on Easter Sunday, Apr 16, when the Elect receives the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist.
The Elect came from the 18 parishes and two sub-parishes in the archdiocese with Ranau having the largest contingent of 224. Labuan has its own Rite of Election (52 Elect) due to its geographical location.