Saturday, March 22, 2008

To Catholic Converts- We Don't need anymore Second Class Catholics

I suppose today is my birthday in a way. On Holy Saturday, years ago and boy how do they fly, I was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church at Thomas Aquinas Church in Ruston Louisiana.

Tonight is the "converts" night. IF I can find some New Catholic bloggers that came into the Church tonight I Will post them tomorrow. Anyway the Catholic Converts Blog reference a new story that was from last month from the Diocese of Little Rock(which is the entire state of Arkansas) at Administrator asks at Rite of Election: 'So you want to be Catholic?'

Msgr. J. Gaston Hebert prepared those coming into the Church at Easter with a condensed version of Catholic teachings and gave them a stern warning.
On Feb. 7, 8 and 10 the diocesan administrator led ceremonies in Fort Smith, Rogers and Little Rock for the catechumens who will be baptized and the candidates who will be received into full communion during the Easter vigil. More than 500 adults and children participated in the ceremonies with their sponsors and families.

The Rite of Election is always led by the diocesan bishop or administrator at the beginning of Lent to call forth those who are preparing for the sacraments and asking them to enter a more intensive preparation time.

"Catholics are strange people," he warned the audience Feb. 10 at the Cathedral of St. Andrew. "They don't believe what the world out there believes ... You can't love what's happening in the world and really love Jesus Christ with all of your heart, soul and mind."

Msgr. Hebert touched on several topics, including the Bible, the sacraments and Mary, which could cause confusion or invite questions for new Catholics.

He encouraged new Catholics to never fear the sacrament of reconciliation.
"Don't ever be ashamed," said Msgr. Hebert, who goes to confession once a month. "We are all sinners and Jesus loves us. All Jesus wants is for us to come back ... Don't let pride, don't let the Devil get in the way of making a good confession."

He emphasized one of the Commandments: keeping holy the Sabbath.
"You go to Mass every single Sunday and every single holy day. That is a grave, moral responsibility ...," he said. "The fishing trips on Sunday morning are out. Do that after Mass."
He challenged each elect and candidate to participate in the Church fully.

"You are going to make the Church stronger," he said. "You add to the Church by your presence ... You come into the Church with both feet. You become the best Catholic around ... We do not need anymore second-class Catholics. The quota has been filled. We need first-class Catholics -- the best Catholics who ever walked the face of the earth. We can't wait to have you strange people be a part of us

Pretty stern stuff. Of course the key will be for many of these converts is recognize that not all things will be roses. Looking back there were many many times I was worse than a second class Catholic and have not lived up to the gift of my faith. I suppose that is why the good Monsignor hit confession. You start letting that slide and then one finds yourself in trouble deep. However despite my shorts falls I do realize that my Catholic faith is a deep part of me and that those sacraments "truly took" that Holy Saturday Night and made an indeliable mark on my soul.

Congrats all Converts!!! Glad to have you

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