The Archdiocese of Los Angeles had more than 2,000 catechumens baptized into the Catholic faith, the biggest number since at least 2016. The archdiocese also had the second-most candidates since 2016 entering into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The archdiocese had 2,075 catechumens at Easter Vigil liturgies this year, a 38% increase since 2016, when there were 1,508. There were also 1,521 candidates in 2024, a 20% increase since 2016, and a 67% increase in total candidates since a pre-pandemic low in 2019.

Since 2016, the archdiocese had a high of 1,719 total candidates in 2023.

Catechumens are adults or children who have never been baptized, while candidates are those who have been baptized, but receive the sacrament of confirmation and the Eucharist during the Easter vigil.

The trend tracks with several other dioceses nationwide, which have reached or in many cases exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

The Diocese of San Diego and churches across the state of Hawaii reported increases of more than 10% since 2023, while the Archdiocese of Newark said the largest number of catechumens in over a decade were baptized on Holy Saturday.

During his homily at the Easter vigil on March 30 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez welcomed the newly elected into God’s embrace.

“My dear elect and candidates, since the day you were born, God has been waiting for this night,” Archbishop Gomez said. “Every life is unique, every life has its ‘story.’ And what happens to us, happens for a reason. Whether you knew it or not, all your life, God has been gently guiding you to this night.

“Tonight your ‘story’ will be joined to ‘his story,’ to the beautiful history of salvation, the great story of God’s love for his people.”