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OCIT Students Take Next Step In Their Faith Journey

During the weekend of February 16 and 17, students in the Order of Christian Initiation for Teenagers (OCIT) program attended the Cathedral in Detroit for the Rite of Election, where they were recognized by Archbishop Vigneron alongside members from every parish in the Archdiocese who are also preparing to receive their sacraments.  

The OCIT program is an opportunity for non-Christian students to get baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith. It has 20 members this year, including four freshman, two sophomores, 13 juniors, and one senior.    

“The Rite of Election marks the last major milestone in the journey for our students before the reception of their sacraments at the end of the school year,” stated Theology Teacher, Colin Whitehead ‘13.  

The Rite of Election is an archdiocesan-wide gathering where each parish sends their catechumens (those seeking baptism and to become members of the Church) and candidates (those already baptizing and seeking to enter into full communion with the Church through the reception of Confirmation or Eucharist) to be received by the Archbishop and blessed as they enter this last stage of their journey.  

“There were so many catechumens and candidates that they had to hold three separate ceremonies (two on Saturday and one on Sunday). We took students both Saturday and Sunday because of various commitments with sports on Saturday,” Whitehead explained.  

At the Rite of Election, catechumens cease to be called catechumens, and are now given the name "the elect." The candidates keep their title of candidates. They celebrated the rite on Saturday with Bishop Hanchon and on Sunday with Archbishop Vigneron. 

Some key takeaways from Archbishop Vigneron's homily included: 

  • By exercising your freedom and choosing to enter the Church, you are taking hold of your existence and saying, "Yes, this is who I am and what I will be until I die and for all eternity." 

  • The fact that you are here is proof that the Holy Spirit is working in your lives. You are part of God's work in history. 

  • Today is a tangible "yes" in your journey, a real milestone moment. 

  • The decision you are making is not a folk tale. It is serious. Our brothers and sisters are being executed in other places around the world for the same decision that you are making today. The archbishop admires you for this. 

  • The plot of your life is being immersed into the plot of Jesus' life. 

  • "Remember, God is always faithful to those he calls." 

“One reason I enjoy the Rite of Election so much is that it allows our students to realize that they are not alone in their decision. There are people of all ages (adults, other teens, and even children younger than them) who are making this same decision and desiring what they desire. Blessed Sacrament Cathedral is beautiful and a chance for them to experience a different kind of environment. The aesthetics of the faith are on full display,” stated Whitehead.  

For more information about the OCIT program, please contact Mr. Kevin Walters at kwalters@catholiccentral.net.  

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