Alleluia! An Easter people rejoices

April 26, 2022

Father Philip Wilhite baptizes a young girl during Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday, April 16, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Conroe. More than 1,650 new Catholics joined the local Church during the Easter season. (Photo by James Ramos/Herald)

HOUSTON - Across many of 146 parishes in the Archdiocese, on Holy Saturday, a voice cried out to proclaim the Resurrection of the Lord: “Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her, ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness.”

That message also resounded in Catholic communities around the world, from St. Peter’s Basilica to the underground churches in China and the suffering communities in Ukraine, to bring forth a song of hope and a brave “Alleluia” in the face of tragedy and despair.

IN PHOTOS: Holy Week Around the Archdiocese

For many, this Triduum was a return and journey to Christ and His Church, especially for the 1,650-plus who are joining the Church this Easter.

As part of the joyous Easter celebration, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo welcomed these new Catholics into the local Church of Galveston-Houston. Thousands, many supported by their families and friends, began the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process in February. This RCIA process, carried out in parishes and dioceses across Galveston-Houston and the United States, came full circle as the U.S. Church welcomed thousands of new Catholics at Easter Vigil Masses April 16.

While people can become Catholic at any time of the year, the Easter Vigil celebrates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, so these High Holy days are particularly appropriate for catechumens, who have never been baptized, to receive Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion at the Easter Vigil.
Candidates who were already baptized completed their initiation through a profession of faith, were confirmed and received the Eucharist.

Across the U.S., thousands more new Catholics were welcomed into the Church during Easter Vigil Masses. On Easter Day, thousands attended Masses to welcome the Easter season and celebrate the Resurrection.

Now the paschal candle is lit in every church, and the Easter season continues on for 50 days in the Catholic Church until Pentecost Sunday, June 5.