His name is “Godswill,” and that’s just what he believes is the reason for him to seek full communion in the Catholic Church.

Baptized Anglican, Godswill Okoro will receive his First Communion and be confirmed at the Easter Vigil at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Williston.

“My mother was a devoted Catholic. My wife in a devoted Catholic,” he said before the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion Feb. 18 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Burlington.

He was among 24 catechumens and 25 candidates — “the biggest number in recent years” — who are preparing for the sacraments at Easter, said Josh Perry, director of the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Burlington.

Those preparing for baptism are called catechumens while those already baptized in another Christian denomination seeking full communion with the Catholic Church are called candidates.

During the Rite of Election, the Church “elects” those seeking full initiation into the Church through baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist at Easter. The Church also recognizes those already-baptized Christians seeking full initiation into the Catholic Church and pledges the support of prayer as they journey toward full communion in the Catholic Church.

This year the presider at the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion was Msgr. John McDermott, administrator of the Diocese of Burlington. In his homily, he spoke of “conversion,” saying God calls everyone to continuing conversion, “to turn away from sin and experience His love and mercy in our lives.”

The Lord invites everyone into a relationship with Him and calls everyone to be witnesses to His love and mercy in the world. He prayed for grace to “embrace and accept God’s love every day of our lives because conversion is never ending.”

Catechumens were presented to the presider, and in the name of the entire Church he declared them to be members of the Elect who will be baptized at the Easter Vigil. He then recognized the desire of the candidates to receive the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation and called them to deepen their life of faith through conversion this Lenten season.

Father Oliver Saligan, administrator of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, attended the afternoon service with four catechumens and one candidate. “This is a good sign the parish is growing and people are attracted to the Catholic faith,” he said. “Hopefully we can help them live a good, Christian life.”

Krissy Thompson, a catechumen from the Williston church, said after the service, “Being greeted and welcomed … and having the community around me to help me has been inspiring. I feel welcomed.”

Pierre Akpo-Sani will receive the Sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation at St. Paul Church in Orwell. Baptized a Methodist, he has had a relationship with God but wanted to have the same worship as his wife, Ramona, a Catholic. He was called to the Church through her.

Similarly, Godswill Okoro found his way to the Church through his wife, Juliana Okoro, and wanted to worship with her and their 5-year-old son. “I’ve been trying to get the courage [to come into full communion with the Church] so I decided to take the first step and show more commitment to help my son grow in his [Catholic] faith,” he said. “By the grace of God he will pass the faith on the next generation.”