February 18, 2015 – Excerpted from Put Out Into the Deep, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
My dear brother and sisters in the Lord,
As we begin the season of Lent, the Rite of Election on the first Sunday of Lent is perhaps one of the highlights of the Liturgical Year in the Diocese of Brooklyn. For those who are to be Baptized and fully initiated on Easter, their journey begins in earnest during this 40-day period.
On this first Sunday of Lent, we gather them together and challenge them with the Word of God which always, on the first Sunday of Lent, concerns the temptations of Jesus. Those who wish to be Baptized will be departing from a life dominated by Original Sin, and offer themselves up to the grace of God. Those to be fully initiated will receive Communion and Confirmation on Easter. It is truly a life-changing experience for them.
In our own diocese, the statistics are overwhelming, as they are nationally. In our country each year, almost 250,000 people are Baptized, or fully initiated. In this diocese, the numbers are normally 1,000. This year, we have 480 Elect, those who will be receiving baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist, 555 will be completing their initiation through Confirmation and Eucharist, and 44 will be coming into full communion into the Catholic Church, as well as 79 children, for a total of 1,079.
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.