More than 1,100 people were formally greeted by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio during two sessions of the Rite of Election March 9 held at Christ the King R.H.S., Middle Village.
The participants, known as catechumens and candidates for the sacraments, are in the final weeks of their preparation to be baptized or to receive the sacraments that will bring them into full union with the Catholic Church. Those ceremonies will be taking place at Easter Vigil services in their home parishes. The Rite of Election is part of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program that trains and welcomes new members of the Church.
The parishes with the highest totals were St. John Vianney, Flushing; St. Leo’s, Corona; Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Sunset Park; and St. Athanasius, Bensonhurst. Joining Bishop DiMarzio for the ceremony were the territorial vicars, Bishop-elect Edward B. Scharfenberger, vicar for Queens, and Msgr. Joseph Grimaldi, vicar for Brooklyn, and Father James Massa, moderator of the Curia. The master of ceremonies was Father Frank Tumino, executive director of the diocesan Liturgical Commission. Sister Alice Michael, S.U.S.C., shown at lower right, is the diocesan coordinator for RCIA. Members of the RCIA have been attending catechism classes for several months in their home parishes to prepare for their entry into the Church. This year, 120 parishes in Brooklyn and Queens participated in the Rite of Election. For more about the Rite of Election, see The Editor’s Space.