TRUMBULL— Bishop Frank J. Caggiano welcomed 100 men and women as they progressed toward full communion with the Catholic Church at Sunday’s Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull.
“Today the Lord, through the Mystery of the Mystical Body, the Church, is going to elect you; that is, confirm the call you have received in the quiet of your heart; the call that was given to you by the Lord, Himself,” said the bishop during his homily.
The bishop assured the participants that he and all the members of the Church would be praying for them in the weeks ahead, as they continue their preparation to receive the sacraments of initiation. “You are most welcome,” the bishop said.
“There is a profound lesson to be contemplated,” explained Bishop Caggiano, reminding the participants that their journey in faith is one that all the faithful must continue throughout their lives. “For the reality of the temptations in our lives are real. The tendency to fall into those temptations can be deadly, and so what is it that the Lord requires?”
The bishop explained the struggle that lies within all of us. “Temptation, my friends, is when we’re given a choice between doing what is good, right and moral, or to do what is disordered or evil or sinful.”
“That choice has power over us when it engages our hearts,” he said. “It is the desires of our heart that can at times get us in trouble.”
The bishop explained that we cannot find peace in our hearts from what the world wants us to consume—power, pleasure, possessions, privilege, prophet, and so many other things.
“To win over temptation is not simply knowing what’s right or wrong it is to contain, to train, to bring to conversion my heart and yours,” said the bishop.
“And you, my friends, election candidates, as you continue this journey you are going through, it is more than an invitation to simply know what the Church teaches, but it is also to train your heart…to allow these desires to lead you to the one desire that matters—the desire you have encountered already in your hearts.”
The bishop explained that in the Gospel reading of Jesus’ temptation in the desert, he was teaching us how to overcome temptations. The bishop assured that Jesus did not experience temptations as we do, because His heart is singular and pure, not divided as ours is.
The bishop posed the question: How can you and I look the devil in the face and walk away? He answered: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
“St. Augustine said one sentence that has been repeated and echoed for centuries,” the bishop said. “Our hearts are restless until they rest with thee, O God.”
This liturgical rite, traditionally held on the first Sunday of Lent, is part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process. It closes the period of formation and marks the beginning of the period of final preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.
To properly adhere to COVID-19 protocols, attendees were asked only to sit together if they were related or live together. Sponsors and godparents did not have to sit with the candidates and/or catechumens. Clergy and parish staff could sit wherever they please as well, following social-distancing guidelines.
After the homily, catechumens’ and candidates’ names were read aloud, as they were asked to stand with their godparents/sponsors and recite the responses provided.
All social-distancing and COVID-19 protocols were followed. The event was livestreamed at: www.sttheresatrumbull.org.
(For more information regarding RCIA and adult formation, contact Dr. Patrick Donovan, executive director of The Leadership Institute at: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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