At Rite of Initiation, parents follow in their son’s footsteps

Bishop McGovern celebrated the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion on Sunday Feb. 26 at the Cathedral of St. Peter with dozens of catechumens and candidates preparing for the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil.

Cameron and Taylor Yosanovich of Christopher are following in the footsteps of their son John Matthew, 7.

After John Matthew’s grandmother Chrissy Dirnbeck converted to Catholicism two years ago he began attending Mass with her regularly. He also began attending the Parish School of Religion at St. John the Baptist Parish in West Frankfort.

“He became more Catholic than any of us,” Dirnbeck says.

Before long he was asking his parents, Cameron and Taylor, lots of questions about the Catholic faith. But neither of them was Catholic.

“We thought, why don’t we educate ourselves on the subject,” says Cameron, a nurse practitioner in Christopher.

In order to educate themselves, Cameron and Taylor began taking Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA, classes.

Cameron, who was a catechumen, will receive the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and holy communion during the Easter Vigil April 8 at St. John the Baptist in West Frankfort.

Taylor, who is converting from another Christian tradition, was a candidate.

One of the milestones on that journey took place during Mass on the first weekend of Lent, Feb. 25 and 26, with the Rite of Election and the Call to Continuing Conversion.

During the Rite of Election, catechumens — supported by their sponsors, godparents, family members and parish ministers — freely proclaim their desire to receive the sacraments of initiation to the diocesan bishop. Their names are recorded in the Book of the Elect. After the rite, the bishop signs the book as a witness to their faith.

The Call to Continuing Conversion is similar for candidates — those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition and seek to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church this Easter. They also publicly profess their intention to receive Communion and confirmation.

The Yosanovichs were among the 37 catechumens and 35 candidates from parishes around the Diocese of Belleville, who participated in these ceremonies at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville Feb. 26, the first Sunday in Lent.

Bishop Michael McGovern, who was the presider and homilist, asked each candidate to “join with us this Lent in a spirit of repentance. Hear the Lord’s call to conversion and be faithful to your baptismal convenant.”

Catechumen Juliana Perez, 21, of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Carbondale, said the motivator for her to become Catholic happened when someone close to her died.

“It made me want to know more and to understand the reasons for this,” she said.

Perez said she did not grow up religious, but her grandparents are Catholic so it is like coming back to the Church in a way.

After the readings and his homily, Bishop McGovern greeted each of the catechumens and candidates individually as their names were called. He accepted the catechumens’ names into the Book of the Elect and urged the catechumens and candidates to spend the rest of Lent pursuing repentance and deeper conversion with the support of the church.