Thursday, March 9, 2017 The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Greensburg Volume 56, No. 20 MARY SEAMANS THE CATHOLIC ACCENT Candidates stand with their sponsors at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral March 5. Journey to full communion is lifelong pilgrimage Bishop to welcome nearly 140 people into church at Rite of Election services in March By Jerry Zufelt Editor GREENSBURG — Bishop Edward C. Malesic urged catechumens and candidates to continue their journey to full communion in the Catholic Church and recognize that they are pilgrims on a journey from here to eternity. Bishop Malesic was the presider and homilist at the diocese’s first of two Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion services which was held March 5 at Bless-ed Sacrament Cathedral. He welcomed approximately 50 of the nearly 140 people in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process in the diocese this year. The second Rite of Election service will be celebrated at the cathedral March 12. Candidates are baptized Christians who will receive first Eucharist and be con-firmed at the Easter Vigil Mass (April 15) in their parishes. Catechumens will be baptized and receive first Eucharist and confirmation at the Easter Vigil Mass. Bishop Malesic told the catechumens and candidates a bit about his faith jour-ney. He said he was a cultural Catholic be-cause that’s what his parents told him. “I was simply born into it,” he said. “To be honest, there were those years when I did not want to be Catholic,” although he always knew Jesus was important to him. The bishop said he came to have a real and personal relationship with Jesus, and he learned why he was Catholic by reading the Gospels and studying the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He called the catechumens and candi-dates a great gift to lifelong Catholics. “God gives you to us, just as he gives us to you,” Bishop Malesic said in his homily. “You who are coming into the Catholic Church have the distinct ability to remind us cradle Catholics of the greatness of our faith. “You are saying to us: I want what you have — and then we begin to realize we have something other people want and need.” Candidates and catechumens teach lifelong Catholics how excited they should be about their faith, he said. Bishop Malesic also said they will need to share that faith with others as they will be asked by Jesus to “take him into a world that is in need of his salvation now more than ever.” “Take his message of love with you, especially to those forgotten people of our society,” Bishop Malesic said. He encouraged them to keep their faith alive “within the family of the Catholic Church” and practice, use and constantly renew their faith within the church. He reminded them to attend Mass reg-ularly, attend confession, read their Bible and continue to take opportunities to learn more about Jesus and his church. USCCB responds to executive order on terrorism T o read a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ chairman on migration in response to President Donald Trump’s March 6 executive order protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States, visit www.usccb.org. INSIDE THIS ISSUE PAGE 3 Lenten reflections: Fasting as a paradox; meditating on the Stations of the Cross as a devotion. PAGE 6 Retiree uses artistic talents to paint religious icons.