Rite of Acceptance into Order of Catechumens

KOTA KINABALU: The Rite of Acceptance into the Order of Catechumens was held in St Simon Catholic Church Likas, in which five enquirers* were admitted into the order of catechumens, on Sept 8.

Fr Cosmas told the congregation that the enquirers were given a catechesis the day before and were told that to be a Christian means they have to make a fundamental shift, from the natural “me”, “my parents”, “my wife/husband” to “God first”, which was very appropriate with that Sunday’s Gospel reading.

He then asked them their names and what they asked of God’s church, to which they replied, “Eternal life“. Their sponsors and the assembly were then asked if they were ready to help the enquirers to find and follow Christ, to which they replied the affirmative. Fr Cosmas then, on behalf of the whole community, thanked God for calling these enquirers to this journey and for their answering His call.

The enquirers were admitted as catechumens by the marking of the sign of Christ’s cross on their foreheads by the rector, followed by their sponsors. The rite continued with the signing of the other senses by the sponsors, the giving of a Bible to each catechumen, intercessions for the catechumens which ended with prayer over the catechumens by Fr.

“Let us welcome Daniella, Susan, Yung Ying, Hong Shin and Sonny our new catechumens and continue to pray for them and the other RCIA candidates as they prepare for their full initiation into the Catholic Church next Easter.” — by Magdalene Chu

* (Those at their first stage of journey in the RCIA are called “enquirers” or “sympathisers”)

Fr Cosmas making the sign of the cross on the forehead of one of the catechumens. – pix by Douglas Yu

Note: Although catechumens are not yet fully members of the Catholic church, they are already officially part of the Church.

Reference from CCC:

1247 Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is the common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new. The catechumenate (preparation for Baptism) therefore occupies an important place. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.

1248 The catechumenate, or formation of catechumens, aims at bringing their conversion and faith to maturity, in response to the divine initiative and in union with an ecclesial community. The catechumenate is to be “a formation in the whole Christian life . . . during which the disciples will be joined to Christ their teacher. The catechumens should be properly initiated into the mystery of salvation and the practice of the evangelical virtues, and they should be introduced into the life of faith, liturgy, and charity of the People of God by successive sacred rites.”47

1249 Catechumens “are already joined to the Church, they are already of the household of Christ, and are quite frequently already living a life of faith, hope, and charity.”48 “With love and solicitude mother Church already embraces them as her own.”49

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