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Bishop Gruss: We are sent out into the world to transform it. We are servants of Christ’s mission


On Sunday, Feb. 18, more than 500 faithful from parishes throughout the diocese gathered at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw for the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion. This is the final period of spiritual formation before catechumens and candidates receive the Easter sacraments. 

Those who are non-baptized are referred to as “catechumens”, and those who are already baptized but are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church are called “candidates.” 

The most important decision of your life

During his homily, Bishop Robert Gruss offered encouragement to the candidates and catechumens. During the Rite of Election, they would publicly profess their desire to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.  

In his homily, Bishop Gruss ensured the catechumens and candidates that the Holy Spirit would assist them in living out their baptismal call. He emphasized that in accepting the Lord’s invitation to come into full communion with the Church, the Lord was inviting them into Christ’s mission.  

“Unfortunately, people perceive themselves as members of a church rather than servants of Christ’s mission. That’s what you’re saying ‘yes’ to today, to be servants of Christ’s mission, not a member of your parish. We are confirmed and then sent out into the world to transform it. That’s what you’re saying ‘yes’ to today. This is the most important decision, my dear friends, of your life!” 

Bishop Gruss went on to say, “This time of Lent is not about coming to know more about Jesus but rather coming to know Jesus more in an intimate and personal way.”  

Bishop Gruss then encouraged everyone to spend more time in prayer because we can’t get to know someone (Jesus) personally if we don’t spend time with them.  

He then quoted St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta who said, “My secret is simple, I pray”. 

Bishop Gruss closed by saying, “My dear catechumens and candidates, as you move forward toward full communion with us, I want you to be assured of our prayers. Know that the entire Church will accompany you on this journey to the joys of Easter and eternal life.” 

148 Catechumens and Candidates will be received into full communion at their parishes during the Easter Vigil this year, nearly double the amount from 2023. 

"I'm overjoyed that my wife and children are all being received into full communion with the Church this Easter," said Pierre Ruvuza, who accompanied his family at the Rite of Election. The Ruvuza family attends St. Agnes Parish in Freeland. 

Pierre Ruvuza and his wife Ernestine are greeted by Bishop Robert Gruss during the Rite of Election  in Saginaw on Feb. 18, 2024 

“The Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion celebration is an amazing opportunity to see the Holy Spirit at work in our diocese through the ministry of our parishioners and parish staff,” said Peg McEvoy. “This celebration leaves no doubt that the Holy Spirit is on the move in our diocese!” McEvoy serves as coordinator of faith and catechist formation for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw.  

Anyone with questions or who would like to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church are invited to contact a nearby parish. A list of local parishes can be found here. You may also reach out to Peg McEvoy at 989-797-6608 or