9 Adults receive the Sacrament of Confirmation

9 Adults received the Sacrament of Confirmation at a ceremony held at Balzan Parish Church and presided over by Mgr. Joseph Galea-Curmi, Auxiliary Bishop of Malta.

These adults mostly Maltese but also from Italy, Lithuania, and Germany, who due to various reasons had not received the Sacrament of confirmation, have completed an intense formation programme to prepare them to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

We congratulate them on their reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation and will continue to pray for them.

14 Adults receive the Sacraments of Initiation

During the Easter Vigil Mass, on the 16th of April 2022, 14 Adults became members of the Catholic Church at St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta.

After an intense period of catechesis and celebrating the Rite of Election and Scrutinies; number of Rites, these 14 Adults from 10 different countries, were received into the Church by His Grace, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna who conferred on them the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and received their first Communion).

These newly Baptised Catholics, are called Neophytes, from the Greek word Neothutoi, which means, ‘newly planted’, meaning that they have been united to the mystic Body of Christ.

Now they will begin a period of Mystagogy this word comes from the Greek meaning ‘to lead through the mysteries.  Traditionally, Mystagogy continues throughout the Easter Season until the feast of Pentecost.  This is a time where new Catholics are accompanied as they discover what it means to fully participate in the sacramental mysteries of the Church. 

During this period of Mystagogy, these newly Baptised Catholics are invited to reflect on their experience of conversion, learn more about the Church, and consider how they might get involved in ministry.

We invite and encourage parishioners who have a newly Baptised Catholic in their parish, to share their faith with them support and encourage them as they continue in their faith Journey.

We congratulated and pray for them in their new life in the Catholic Church.

The Scrutinies celebrated for 14 Adults

The scrutinies are a series of rites for adults who wish to be baptised.  These Rites are celebrated in the third, fourth, and fifth weeks of Lent.  

The Scrutinies were celebrated by His Grace Mgr. Charles J Scicluna, Archbishop of Malta at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha for 14 Adults who are in the final stages of their journey in becoming full members of the Catholic Church, at the Easter Vigil, where they will receive the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Communion).

The ceremony took place immediately following the homily.  It began by the elect and their Godparents being invited forward, this was followed by silent prayer for the elect, intercessory prayer, prayer of exorcism, the laying of hands, prayers over the elect and the dismissal of the elect.

This period is seen as a time of purification and enlightenment for the elect.  The prayers of exorcism are intended to help purify the elect from sin and sinful desires.  The prayers and laying of hands are to help the elect to be enlightened by the Word and Grace of God.

14 Adults begin their process of joining the Catholic Church

14 Adults have begun their journey to becoming full members of the Catholic Church.

These 14 adults, from diverse nationalities and backgrounds celebrated the Rite of Election, presided by His Grace Mgr. Charles Scicluna, at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace in Zabbar on the first Sunday in Lent, 6 ta’ Marzu 2022.

This ceremony is called the Rite of Election because the acceptance made by the Church is founded on the election (choice) of God, in whose name the Church acts.

The Rite of Election is usually celebrated by the archbishop on the First Sunday of Lent to elect and enrol catechumens to receive the Sacrament of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Communion).  During this ceremony the catechumens were called forward; the godparents offered their testimony; and the catechumens had their names written in the Book of the Elect.

During the Rite of Election, the Catechumen became a member of the Elect, and now enter the final and more intense period of preparation to receive the Sacraments of Initiation.

A group of adults begin process for the Sacrament of Confirmation

A group of baptised Catholics have joined an Adult Confirmation Programme.  This programme is for baptised Catholics who for various reasons have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation during their adolescence. 

Through this programme they receive catechesis as well as spiritual formation that will prepare them for their reception of the Sacrament of Confirmation and becoming full members of the Catholic Church. 

We congratulate them on their decision and support them through our prayers.

New Catechumens begin their journey

On 15th January 2021, a group of people have begun their journey to become full members of the Catholic Church through the Rite of Acceptance.

The Rite of Acceptance is an ancient rite that acknowledges the Catechumen’s decision to begin his or her journey to become a full member of the Catholic Church, through reception of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion).

This rite was presided by Fr. Ivan Attard OP who spoke to the new catechumens about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.  Fr Attard also addressed the godparents present and stressed the importance of their role, encouraging them to fulfil their duties as godparents and not to be godparents in name only.  He continued to emphasise that their role as godparents is a role that lasts a lifetime.

We congratulate the new Catechumens on the beginning of their journey in the Catholic Faith and we offer them our prayers and support.

Our Inquirers

All inquirers preparing for the catechumenate met informally on Saturday 18th December 2021.

This meeting was a basic introduction as well as an opportunity for the inquirers to get to know each other and prepare to journey together as catechumens.

Inquirers are people who whether they come from another religion or who hold no religious belief at all are curious about the Catholic faith and have started a process to discern whether to become Catholics. Once they decide they want to become Catholics, they undergo the Rite of Acceptance to become catechumens. As catechumens, thet are prepared by catechists to receive the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. These Sacraments are usually administered during the Easter Vigil Mass.

This year there are twelve people from different religions, nationalities and walks of life who are enquiring about the Catholic faith.
The Rite of Acceptance will be held on the 15th of January 2022.

We invite the members of the Catholic Church in Malta to keep these brothers and sisters of ours in their prayers as each one prepares for their faith journey.

After Baptism celebration activity

One month after the Baptism of a group of adults, that took place on the 29th of May of this year.  An informal activity was organised at St. Agatha’s in Rabat, to celebrate together their new life after receiving the Sacraments of Initiation.

Mass was celebrated for those present by Fr. Frankie Cini MSSP.  This was followed by an opportunity to get to know each other over light refreshments.

The newly Baptised are very enthusiastic and eager to learn more about their new Faith.  Their joy in the Catholic Faith was encouraging to the cradle Catholics who were present; they felt that their faith was reinforced and inspired through their spiritual enthusiasm.

The Sacraments of Initiation at St. Paul’s Cathedral

On the 29th of May 2021, feast of the Holy Trinity, at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina, His Grace, Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, received into the Church ten adults, when he conferred on them the Sacraments of Initiation.  

The Elect, those who throughout lent had been preparing to be received into the Church, usually receive the three sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist during the Easter Vigil. 

His Grace personally welcomes them, as the shepherd of the local Church. As neophytes, in the Easter period until Pentecost, the newly baptised are gently immersed into their parishes and other Christian communities through a special period of catechesis called Mystagogy.

This year, because of Covid measures, the ceremony was postponed. Now that they have been welcomed with open arms, let us congratulate them and continue to pray for them as we continue together as one Church on our one faith Journey.

Celebration of the Ancient Rite of ‘The Scrutinies’

The first of the three scrutinies for the elect was celebrated by His Grace, Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna, during the Third Sunday of Lent liturgy on March 7, 2021 that took place at Good Shepherd Church in Balzan. The elect are the adults undergoing a period of purification and enlightenment as part of their journey to receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist and being welcomed into the Church. 

The Church celebrates the scrutinies during three consecutive Sundays of Lent, from the third to the fifth Sunday. It is an ancient rite and “By this means, first of all, the elect are instructed gradually about the mystery of sin, from which the whole world and every person longs to be delivered and thus saved from its present and future consequences.  Second, their spirit is filled with Christ the Redeemer, who is the living water (gospel of the Samaritan woman in the first scrutiny), the light of the world (gospel of the man born blind in the second scrutiny), the resurrection and the life (gospel of Lazarus in the third scrutiny).  From the first to the final scrutiny the elect should progress in their perception of sin and their desire for salvation.”(Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, 143)

The purpose of the three scrutinies is “to expose and heal all that is weak, defective, or sinful” in the hearts of the elect as well as “to reveal and fortify that which is honourable and good” in the person. In this way they are prepared to the life of holiness of the People of God.