WASHINGTON (March 20, 2001) -- Tens of Thousands Join Catholic Church Across the United States
On Holy Saturday, April 14, tens of thousands of men and women will become Roman Catholic through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The rite in Catholic parishes is fast becoming the way in which the faithful prepare to welcome new life into over 19,000 parishes across the country. In 1999, 170,956 were received into the Church; 83,157 through adult Baptism and 87,799 as baptized Christians received into full communion with the Catholic Church. In 2000 figures to be released shortly, it appears that there is at least a 10 percent increase over the 1999 figures. With additional celebrations of the Rite of Election in dioceses that took place on March 4, the first Sunday of Lent and the beginning of the final stage for reception into the Church, the figures for Easter 2001 could well hit the 200,000 mark. "This increase is the result of greater visibility and openness on the part of parishes throughout the Jubilee year which was concluded by Pope John Paul II in January, 2001," says Paulist Father John Hurley, Executive Director of the Secretariat for Evangelization at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. "Also, many dioceses throughout the United States are conducting renewal and outreach programs, which are attractive to non-Catholics and inactive Catholics alike."
Fr. John Hurley may be reached at 202/541-3012.
April 26 is the date set aside for Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Pope John Paul II has pointed out that "One of the great social changes in our time is the increasing role played by women, also in an executive capacity, in labor and the economy." "Take Our Daughters to Work Day is an excellent opportunity to show young women the career opportunities that are open to them," says Sheila Garcia, Assistant Director, NCCB Office of Family, Laity, Women and Youth. "Parents can explain that work is about more than a paycheck. It also gives people the chance to use their gifts to build a more just and loving society." For this to happen, the Pope says in his Letter to Women, the greater presence of women in society is a necessity
Sheila Garcia may be reached at 202/541-3041..01-044