A baptism




Today I attended the baptism of the granddaughter of a friend of mine.  It took place in st. Gabriel’s Roman Catholic in Point st. Charles.  I had been to that church a couple of times for funerals.  Many nurses in st. Mary’s Hospital where I worked grew up in ” the Point”and as their parents passed away, I was lucky enough to attend funerals in this venerable old church.  This was different.  Quite a few people were present.  Most of them, naturally enough were young.  They weren’t very pious or interested in religion.  And yet, there was a very quiet and respectful atmosphere in the old church that has seen so many baptisms .  The priest was very old and yet he had an engaging  way and he drew the young people into that old magic, that old mystery, that old sacrament that is at the heart of the faith.  The parents and godparents were questioned,  we all said the Our Father, the child was blessed and anointed and finally just a little water was sprinkled on her forehead and all of a sudden she was a little Christian.  People took pictures, the little sister and cousins started to get restless and out we came into the lovely sunny day.  The little enlightened one was wearing her great grandmother’s christening dress and she seemed as happy and calm as a child could be.  I was reminded of another old man who held a little child in his arms.  I thought about Simeon in the temple and I was glad there is still a continuity in this crazy world.

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