The path to the Resurrection was illuminated at St. Joseph Cathedral, as Bishop Richard J. Malone celebrated the Easter Vigil Saturday night.
The Easter Vigil is also a celebration of new faith, as people are initiated or advance as Catholics.
"With great joy, we come together in this cathedral church to celebrate the solemn vigil of the Resurrection," Bishop Malone said. "Here tonight, as well in churches throughout the world, men, women and children are called by God to present themselves for Christian initiation. The community of faith, that together we are, will be enriched by their presence and their new commitment to the Church's mission."
As the service began, the lights of the cathedral were darkened as Bishop Malone blessed the fire contained in a vessel. The Paschal Candle was then lit by the fire, and was carried in procession. The fire and light from the candle was passed on to the assembly, who each had a candle of their own as they shared the flame with their neighbor. As the Paschal Candle was carried, "Lumen Christi" (The Light of Christ) was proclaimed three times.
The liturgy of the Word was then celebrated in a still-darkened cathedral, as readings took the assembly through the beginning of time in Genesis to the Resurrection of Christ. Once concluded, its usual lights then illuminated the cathedral.
During his homily, Bishop Malone talked about how the story of the Resurrection can be reflected into the lives of Catholics as the new disciples of Jesus.
"Evangelization - the bringing of the Gospel to the world - began with the faith of two loyal women friends of Jesus, as they shared the wonderful news of Resurrection with the Apostles. News that would spread for two millennia and beyond, as communities of Christians spring up in every corner of the world.
"As he sent the Apostles and the first disciples, so Jesus sends us," he said. "We are the ones - you and I - who in this time and in this place, must be the Mary Magdalene, Peter and Paul. We are the ones sent forth to bring the message of hope and the Gospel of joy to a world so greatly in need of hearing it. We are the ones who must sound the trumpet of salvation."
The Easter Vigil also welcomed several new Catholics and those prepared to take their next step in their faith journey. John Lichtenthal Jr. and Matthew Kotecki were baptized into the faith, Wesley Hill was received into full communion, and Lichtenthal, Hill, Kate Kotecki, Michelle Hall, Carisa Ballacchino, Chelsea Ballacchino, Taylor Calabro and Mark Schulz were confirmed.