YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Hundreds of people entering the Catholic faith gathered at at Saint Columba Cathedral in Youngstown for an annual celebration preparing them for entry into the church community.
11-year-old Hunter Haines and his mother Terrain Richards are two of hundreds of people preparing to become Catholics.
“It’s very important to me, I’m very happy to be here,” said Haines.
The celebration was called the Rite of Election, where the candidates and their sponsors get ready for the Sacraments of Initiation.
“It’s a big deal, I think that coming here and getting recognized for doing it is you know, a once in a lifetime thing,” said Richards.
“It’s an inspiring event to welcome so many people into the faith, I think it’s enlivening to find people interested in the church and exploring the Catholic faith and they are very enthusiastic,” added Rev. Michael Balash, Direct or Worship at St. Columba.
Candidate Queentina Robinson also expressed her excitement.
“This is a very special moment,” said Robinson.
302 people are entering the Catholic faith this Easter season and that’s just in the Diocese of Youngstown, that’s a number that church leaders said is very promising.
“For our diocese and the size of our diocese in Northeast Ohio, that’s rather significant,” finished Balash.
The candidates now continue getting ready for Easter, when they officially become Catholic.