JOHOR BAHRU – Two hundred and thirty-four catechumens and candidates from Melaka-Johor diocese packed the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart for the Rite of Election on Feb 26.

Most of them had been sent by their parish communities in a special ceremony, and came in the busloads in the mid-day heat.

These adult catechumens and candidates from 14 parishes and chapels had been part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and its youth processes for the last one to two years.

During the ceremony, Bishop Paul Tan told them they had arrived at “the period of final and more intense preparations for the Sacraments of Initiation. Up till now, you’re known as catechumens but after today, you’ll be called Elect”, he said.

Bishop Tan was assisted by six priests and four permanent deacons during the ceremony.

Permanent deacon Sherman Kuek, who gave the homily, said the Church is at the service of others and its sole interest is to bring salvation to the world.

He urged the catechumens to continue to listen to the words of Christ in the Gospel and repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

By Vincent D’Silva