This lovely group of people were part of the Rite of Welcome celebrated in St Columba’s in Ashhurst, Our Lady of Lourdes and St Patrick’s Palmerston North parishes on the fourth Sunday of Advent.
Our period of inquiry started in October and the Rite of Welcome or Acceptance was the first formal rite in the process of coming into full communion with the Catholic community. We are fortunate to be welcoming candidates who have come from other Christian faith traditions and we have two catechumens – so this Easter or next will be a very special time to celebrate baptism and all the sacraments of initiation with them.
The visitation and welcome of Mary and the Christ Child within was very suitable. Each parish community made the celebrations their own even though the rite was identical. It was beautiful that the candidates/catechumens felt the palpable support and prayer of the community within the liturgy.
We meet centrally each Monday night – we have a great team of catechists who by roster share the ‘teaching’ role and coordinators provide continuity each week – we use a lectionary-based system which means that we pray and reflect using the scriptures of the week – then we examine church teaching/Christian practice that arises from it which then highlights the lived experience of it in our local parishes.
Please pray for our Candidates: Caroline Mayze, Ingrid Chamberlain, Jill Holdgate and Peter Ellingham. Catechumens: Ayesha Hehir and Mary Jane Pratt.
Sponsors: Mary Manning, Kathy Gardener, Rachael Hurley and Simon Ford, Liam Hehir and Mac Bringas.
Catechists: Kathy Gardener, Lynette Roberts, Tom Silverwood, Rex Begley, Mark Richards and Kate Bell.
Image: At the cathedral side door after doing mystagogia or unpacking and reflecting on the Rite of Welcome.
Back: Mac, Rachel, Caroline. Front: Ingrid, Mary, Ayesha, Jill, Kathy, Peter, Mary Jane.