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Hundreds are waiting to become Catholic at Easter Vigil Masses across Brisbane

Brisbane Catechumens

Together: Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge with catechumens, sponsors, family and friends after the Rite of Election of Catechumens. Photo: Alan Edgecomb.

CATHOLICS around the globe are waiting in anticipation to break their 40 days of fasting at Easter but more than 100 people in Brisbane have greater reason to celebrate Christ’s resurrection this year.

This year, 108 people living in the Brisbane archdiocese will receive the three sacraments of initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist – and enter the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.

Archbishop Coleridge accepted 108 catechumens making their Rite of Election and adding their names to the Book of the Elect at the official Mass on March 5 at St Stephen’s Cathedral.

The Rite of Election is the second step for members of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, and is celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent each year.

This rite is also offered to non-Catholic Christians known as candidates who have chosen to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church at Easter.

James Robertson will complete his first chapter into discovering “the truth about Jesus Christ and his teachings” at the Easter Vigil at Stella Maris parish, Maroochydore.

Three years ago Mr Robertson had one simple question – How do I really love God?

“How do I show love to an eternal being that I cannot even conceive in my mind’s eye, let alone feel that I could know him well enough to say those words sincerely?” he said.

“This question prompted a journey that has brought me so much joy, peace and contentment.

“Along this journey I married my best friend, we have been blessed with two beautiful children, I have joined an amazing community at Stella Maris parish and I have found answers to the questions that started it all.”

While the journey into entering the Catholic Church has been both rewarding and challenging, Mr Robertson was confident he had found the truth about Christ.

“His commands and teachings have enriched my life, strengthened my relationships with the people I love, and given me a deeper understanding of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,” he said.

“I am very excited for the next chapter.”

Mr Robertson will be baptised, confirmed and receive the sacrament of the Eucharist alongside two other catechumens.

Parishioners from Petrie parish will welcome two new Catholics at Easter, Christian mother Rachel Campbell and student Kai Harkonen.

Mrs Campbell will enter into full communion with the Church alongside her daughter, who is preparing to receive her sacraments this year.

Her decision to become Catholic can be traced back to her mother, Di Smith, a steadfast member of the Petrie parish and who, like St Monica, prayed for her daughter’s faith journey.

Mr Harkonen, who is in his final year at Murrumba State High School, approached Petrie parish priest Fr Chima Ofor late last year about becoming a Catholic.

The Year 12 student has been attending weekly Mass since his decision, even catching an early train to get to the church on time.

He has finished reading the Gospel of Matthew and Mark and is halfway through Luke’s Gospel.

Petrie parish RCIA team member Joy Lalor praised Mrs Campbell and Mr Harkonen’s call “to live in God’s heart of love”.

“Petrie Parish welcomes Rachel and Kai with great joy, confident that ‘the One who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:6),” she said.

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