Pastor's Column, January 25, 2015

This Sunday at 11am I will be baptizing Jackson Zbasnik into our Catholic Faith. His father and godfather both attended our parish school and now bring Jackson to be christened at St. Leo. We welcome him, his parents & godparents and pledge our prayers to them. By the way, someone recently asked what the difference is between being baptized or “christened.” Good question. But the answer is there is no difference. People used to refer to baptism as a “christening” because it means “to make someone Christ” which is what we do in baptism. It’s good for all of us who were baptized to remember that this is our calling: to be Christ. 

Today at the 8am Mass, we will celebrating the “Rite of Acceptance” for the two people who have been in the RCIA process here at St. Leo’s the last few months. RCIA is short for “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults” and is the process used in the Catholic Church throughout the world to bring an adult into the Catholic Christian faith through baptism, confirmation and eucharist. Those who have been baptized Catholic but who have not received any of the other sacraments, and those who have been baptized in another Christian denomination (Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, etc.) are called “Candidates” since they already share in our Christian faith through a valid baptism and are seeking full initiation into the Catholic Church through the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation. Those who are not baptized at all are called “Catechumens” and they will be baptized, then receive Eucharist and Confirmation. The Rite of Acceptance is a short “rite” or ritual that takes place in a parish whereby we formally accept and welcome these people into the process of becoming Catholic. This Rite is more fully and formally known as “The (Combined) Celebration of the Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens and the Rite of Welcoming Baptized but Previously Uncatechized Adults Who are Preparing for Confirmation and/or Eucharist or Reception into the Full Communion of the Catholic Church.” That’s quite a mouthful! So we just call it simply, the Rite of Acceptance. Much easier, huh? This takes place at the beginning of Mass, then the candidates join us for the Liturgy of the Word. After the homily but before the Creed (which they have not yet professed), they are given a blessing and then dismissed to reflect further on the Word of God. Please pray for Michael and Angelique whom we will introduce to you more fully at a later time.

Today begins Catholic Schools Week. We are so very blessed to have a parish school at St. Leo’s so please pray for it’s success as we celebrate the opportunity to teach our children in an atmosphere of faith.