WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ten men and women affiliated with the United States Military, all based in greater Washington, celebrated the Rite of Election on Sunday, March 1, 2020, in the main chapel of the Edwin Cardinal O’Brien Pastoral Center, home base for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., presided at the 3:00 p.m. liturgy.
Formally elected by the Catholic Church to receive the Sacrament of Initiation were: Captain Patrick E. Mulvaney and Lieutenant Colonel Don Lundy (Retired) of the U.S. Army; Second Lieutenant Brandon T. Piggott of the U.S. Marine Corps; Commander Dale R. Immel and Chief Petty Officer Joshua G. Veit of the U.S. Navy; Midshipmen Jordan Berrios, Ryan Chow, Jessica Ennis, and Dawson Oliver of the U.S. Naval Academy; and Ms. Izumi Rivera.
The Rite of Election is the penultimate milestone in a months-long process of catechetical instruction, prayer and spiritual development, and liturgies for unbaptized adults committed to becoming Catholics. The ceremony, ordinarily held on the first Sunday of Lent, is the third of four rituals observed as part of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). After completing the Rite of Election, the Catechumens are called “the elect” while undertaking, throughout the remainder of Lent, a period of purification and enlightenment—the final, intense preparation for the reception at Easter of the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion.
Like other Catholic archdioceses and dioceses, the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), USA, celebrates the RCIA every year for adults committed to becoming Catholic. The AMS process is unique, however, in that the Archdiocese’s mainly military population is spread all over the world—wherever U.S. Military personnel happen to be at any moment. Since it is practically impossible for all of the AMS’s Catechumens based worldwide to gather in Washington, DC, at one time to celebrate the Rite of Election with Archbishop Broglio, those serving outside the National Capital Region celebrate the rite with the bishops in the dioceses where they happen to be located.