21 Anselmians to enter Catholic Church on April 23 in Abbey
April 20, 2017
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In the Saint Anselm Abbey Church, 21 Anselmians will receive the holy sacraments as part of the annual Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults ceremony on April 23.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is an established process for individuals seeking to become Catholic and to receive the sacraments of initiation. This includes baptism, confirmation, and the Eucharist.
Most years, the number of candidates averages around five people. This year is different, however, as there is an exceptionally large pool of 21 candidates. On the unusually high number of participants, Abbot Matthew Leavy O.S.B. says that it was simply “the common experience of this year’s 21 candidates that this was the right moment to re-commit themselves to an adult understanding and practice of the faith.”
Of the applicants, two are expected to be baptized and the remaining 19 are scheduled for confirmation. While a great majority of the candidates are current students at Saint Anselm, one is a resident director at Dominic Hall and the other is an alumna from the class of 2005.
When asked about the process of RCIA, Abbot Matthew states, “I call our program ‘Preparation for the Sacraments,’ because it is a blend of RCIA and Confirmation.” The initiation procedure involves weekly classes that begin in the fall semester, ending with a celebration at a 7 p.m. Mass on a Sunday in April.
Though most RCIA programs perform baptisms during the Easter Vigil Mass, Saint Anselm will be holding its ceremony on the next Sunday because of the college’s Easter break. This way, Abbot Matthew points out, they can receive the sacraments of initiation “in the presence of their peers and family members.”
Members of Campus Ministry also stress that the RCIA process is not solely reserved for those who are completely decided on this particular ideology. People from all walks of life – including those who are unsure but curious about the Catholic faith – are welcome to start classes in order to explore their beliefs. As Abbot Matthew states, “Sometimes, students have been pondering and questioning the role of faith in their lives and, while here on campus, have gained a new understanding of the importance of faith.”