Coming to Christ: New Catholics Prepare to Receive Sacraments

Tags: Currents Baptism, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Brooklyn, NY, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholic Convert, Confirmation, Diocese of Brooklyn, Easter, Easter Vigil Mass, Faith, Faith Formation, First Communion, Rite of Election, Sacrament

By Tim Harfmann

Walking across the stage, people took their final steps to becoming Catholic on March 1.

Abiola Arawumi was one of them. He attends Mass, but wants more for his life.

“I call myself a Christian, but at the same time I’m not being Christ-like in a way,” he said.

Arawumi will become a full-fledged member of the Church at this year’s Easter Vigil, when he receives the sacraments.

Many of the people attending the ‘Rite of Election’ ceremony are the ‘catechumens,’ meaning they’ll be baptized, confirmed and receive first communion at the vigil.

In the Brooklyn Diocese, there are 484 adults and 84 children who are catechumens.

There are also the ‘candidates,’ baptized Christians seeking a full, Catholic sacramental life.

There will be 413 confirmed and receiving the Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. An additional 105 are Christian converts to Catholicism.

Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is encouraged by the large group.

“It’s a very good boost because we see people that are enthusiastic about the work of the Church, they want to be part of the Church, so it is really an affirmation,” Bishop DiMarzio said.

Grace Wang, who came from China two years ago, is enthusiastic about receiving her sacraments.

“I had no chance to be a real Catholic in China, so I came here.”

Wang endured her faith despite facing persecution from the Chinese communists.

“Sometimes the government told me no, they don’t allow me to [receive sacraments]. so, for a long time, I couldn’t go the church. I could just pray in my home,” Wang said.

The Easter Vigil will be on Saturday, April 11.