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150,000 Americans joined the Catholic Church on Holy Saturday!

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WASHINGTON (March 31, 2004) -- More than 150,000 Americans joined the Catholic Church, on Holy Saturday, April 10, through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

Among them, over 62,000 participated in the Rite of Election with their bishops at the beginning of Lent. About 24,000 of the group were baptized, confirmed and received Holy Eucharist for the first time on Holy Saturday, and 36,000, who already have been baptized, embraced full membership in the Catholic Church.

Another estimated 90,000 men and women celebrated the Rite of Election in their parishes rather than attending the diocesan-wide ceremony, usually held at the cathedral.

"The Rite of Election in my diocese was the highlight of the year," said Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Evangelization. "I worried that the cathedral would be next to empty due to all the scandal news this year, but I was delighted to find that the numbers signing the Book of the Elect were higher than last year. It is great to know that God is in charge."

(USCCB website)