Candidates of RCIA in Holy Family Church Telipok

By Juliana Ringgingon

Oct 2 2020

TELIPOK – Thirty-four candidates or Elect from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) program were prepared to receive the Sacraments of Initiation this year at Holy Family Church (HFC) here.

They should have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion and Confirmation at Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday this year. Their initiation was delayed and put on hold due to Covid-19 lockdown.

The joyous occasion of the reception of these candidates into the Catholic Church was rescheduled by parish priest Fr David Sham to enable the parish to plan things right under these extraordinary conditions. He stressed that the Church, following the clear indication of Sacred Scripture and immemorial Tradition, teaches that baptism is necessary for salvation (CCC 1257).

In view of the seriousness of the matter and taking into consideration the present Covid-19 crisis, Fr Sham decided that in order for the parish to continue to confer the Sacraments for these candidates, he divided the candidates into three groups.

After the gradual reopening of churches and parish activities allowed by the authorities, the three groups were initiated on separate occasions in three consecutive Sunday Masses. The first group of 11 candidates was initiated on Sep 6, followed by the next group of 11 candidates on Sep 13, and the third group of 12 candidates on Sep 20.

This was the first time in HFC that the spiritual preparation and reception of the Sacraments of Initiation were done for the Elect outside Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.

The Rite includes the pre-baptismal anointing and reciting of the Creed. Anointing symbolizes God’s help and strength given to the Elect to overcome the devil and to be faithful in professing their faith throughout their lives.

The reciting of the Creed by the Elect which they received from the community of believers earlier is a public profession of faith and expression of their eagerness to shoulder the duty to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to others.

The happy occasion had indeed brought a deeper meaning of the Sacraments to the newly baptised and to the community of believers at HFC.

Social distancing was fully observed in keeping to the number of faithful during the Rites allowed within the SOP enforced by the authorities.

Fr Mattheus Luta, who presided the Rites, said that during this extraordinary time, it is right for the people of God to take maximum precaution to protect their physical health.

At the same time, he reminded them that the Church always perseveres in safeguarding the spiritual health of God’s people as it is of foremost importance for it directly affects their eternal destiny. It is truly wonderful to see how the Lord Jesus is guiding His people especially through these hard times.