The Church is not ready to throw in the towel and roll over dead.
Once again this Holy Saturday tens of thousands of RCIA enrollees will join the Catholic Church.
Numbers vary from diocese to diocese. The Diocese of Orange, California, for example, will baptize more than 650 people and welcome more than 500 others into full communion.
The Archdiocese of Detroit registers some of the largest numbers with 589 catechumens receiving full initiation and 497 candidates from other Christian traditions being received into full communion.
In Ohio, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati will welcome during the Easter Vigil 437 catechumens and 541 candidates for a total of 978 people; another 65 candidates were brought into the Church at other times during the year.
Most of those coming into the Church through the RCIA program are adults, but in some instances children are part of both groups, usually as members of a family that enters the Church together. According to early figures from the 2007 Official Catholic Directory, last year almost 64,500 adults were baptized in the Catholic Church and nearly 93,000 came into full communion.
These numbers are supplemented by the baptisms of infants that occur in parishes throughout the year. It is estimated that more than a million infant baptisms will take place in the U.S. during 2008. (statistics courtesy of Zenit.org.,March 11, 2008)