At press time,
the total number of adults being welcomed into the Catholic Church in
2006 was not available. However, some dioceses have submitted their
reports. In Denver, 700 people will be baptized and 1,400 will come
into full communion. In Galveston-Houston in Texas, 1,090 will be
baptized and 905 will come into full communion. The Archdiocese for
Military Services reports it will baptize 425 and welcome 515 into full
“The Rite of
Election [which precedes baptism] is always a moving experience as new
life comes into the Church,” said Bishop Sam Jacobs of
Houma-Thibodeaux, Louisiana, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on
“It is a sign of
the work of the Holy Spirit and of the witness of faith that Catholic
men and women give every day. Virtually all who come into the Church
note that they were drawn to the Catholic Church by a friend, relative
or acquaintance who quietly lives out the Christian life,” he said.
People come to
the Catholic Church in a variety of ways. Some are inspired by other
family members, including spouses, who already are Catholic. Others
find the Catholic Church during a spiritual search. Others seek to
return to the Church of their baptism. The RCIA candidates come from
all walks of life and are of all ages.
Martin White is
CEO of MDU Resources, a Fortune 500 company with earnings over one
billion dollars last year. He and his wife, Sheila, followed the RCIA
with the Benedictine Sisters at the University of Mary in Bismarck,
North Dakota, where he will soon become dean of the college’s new
school of business.
At St. Elizabeth
Parish in rural Richfield, Utah, one RCIA candidate is an 87-year-old
man whose daughter and family joined the Church a few years ago;
another is a young woman who was deeply touched by Pope John Paul II’s
death, and another is a 19-year-old man who graduated from high school
enter the Church in every diocese of the country and in virtually every
parish. In 2005, 80,521 adults were baptized in the Catholic Church and
73,296 came into full communion.
The RCIA is an
ancient rite that was reinstituted in the Church following the Second
Vatican Council (1962-1965). It is the usual means for adults to come
into the Church.
of Americans will join the Catholic Church on Holy Saturday, April 15,
through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). They will be
baptized, confirmed and receive the Eucharist for the first time.
Others, who already have been baptized in another Christian church,
will embrace full membership in the Catholic Church.