This year the Diocese of Knoxville’s plans were to have two Rite of Election ceremonies at Sacred Heart Cathedral on the first weekend of Lent, with two deaneries participating Feb. 21 and the other two Feb. 22.
In previous years four Rites of Election were held, one in each deanery, with two ceremonies on Saturday and two on Sunday.
But the weatherman did not cooperate this year, as ice and snow forced Bishop Richard F. Stika to cancel the Saturday Rite of Election. That brought all four deaneries together for a single Rite on Feb. 22. Some of the more distant parishes were unable to send their catechumens and candidates to the cathedral, but the building was nearly filled to capacity for the all-deaneries-in-one ceremony.
Bishop Stika presided at the Rite of Election of Catechumens and the Call to Continuing Conversion of Candidates, as the event is fully known. Sister Mary Timothea Elliott, RSM, who directs the Office of Christian Formation for the diocese, introduced each parish’s catechumens and candidates.
In this year’s RCIA class, more than 220 individuals will be entering the Church. Many of them took part in the Rite of Election.