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Professing the Catholic Faith

Professing the Catholic Faith

By Sr. Denise Herrmann, Director of RCIA

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth? I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered death and was buried, rose from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father? I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? I do.

These questions are asked publicly of us every year at the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday. Believing in the Resurrection of Christ from the dead is the basis of baptism and our Christian faith. It is also the foundation on which the apostles built the Church. Each year on Easter the Church is renewed as every parish throughout the world renews their baptismal promises.

These questions are also asked of those who are about to be baptized, for every baptism is the gift of salvation that comes through the death and resurrection of Christ. This year at the Easter Vigil three youth professed these promises of belief and then Fr. Scott baptized them as he said, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Also at the Easter Vigil joining with us in the renewal of baptismal promises were adults who had been baptized previously in a different Christian denomination. They were in the RCIA process all year preparing to become Catholic. On this night they professed their faith in the Catholic Church. Fr. Scott received them into the Catholic Church with the words from the rite: “The Lord receives you into the Catholic Church. His loving kindness has led you here, so that in the unity of the Holy Spirit you may have full communion with us in the faith that you have professed in the presence of his family.”

In addition to the baptisms and the reception into the Catholic faith on this night, the other sacraments of initiation (namely Confirmation and the Eucharist) were received by the youth and all the adults who had participated in RCIA this past year. For those who are of the age of reason, when they are baptized at the Vigil, they are just like the adults who complete all their initiation sacraments in the same liturgy.

Thus, on the night of the Easter Vigil, new members professed their faith in Christ and were added to the membership of the Catholic Church. We rejoice in these newly initiated members among us. As we witness their profession of faith, we are renewed and strengthened in the gift of faith. The profession of faith is a part of the new life given each year as the Church celebrates the Resurrection of Christ from the tomb. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

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