Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Madeline's Baptism

Oftentimes, dates fly past me and I realize after the fact that the date had some significance attached to it. This happens quite often with the dates of my girls' baptisms. Mainly, Madeline's. Ellie's is a little harder to forget because it falls two days after our wedding anniversary and it's usually very close to Thanksgiving [November is a month that holds a lot of important dates for our family].

I realized a few minutes ago as I was dusting the photos on my mantle that today is the anniversary of Madeline's baptism. Unlike her sister, Madeline did not have the standard production line baptism. She was baptized at her great grandfather's church in Philadelphia. And since Pop was at Mass every Saturday night, Fr. Francis made an exception and agreed to baptize Madeline during the Saturday night vigil Mass. Madeline was the only baby being baptized at that Mass and it was the most beautiful baptism I have ever attended. To this day, family members (Catholic and non-Catholic) still talk about Madeline's baptism. Actually, even friends of the family from Philly who I only ever meet at funerals still go on about her baptism. After she was baptized, Fr. Francis hoisted my not quite two month old soundly sleeping daughter over his head and walked her up and down the center aisle of the church for all to see while the grandmothers stood there in shock worried that the priest might drop their only grandchild on the tiled floor. Her baptism looked like something you'd expect for royalty. I've never seen anything like it before and I doubt I'll ever see anything like it again.

A few years after her baptism, Fr. Francis was moved to another parish. I, for one, was sad to see him go. I liked how he'd point Madeline out anytime we'd go to Mass there [even if it was during a crowded Easter Sunday Mass] when he was giving his homily and go off on a tangent and tell everybody about her baptism and how much her great grandfather adored her. If I recall correctly, he even talked about her during Pop's funeral Mass.

It's hard to believe that eight years have passed since Madeline's baptism. The day is still very fresh in my memory. It's a day that is simply rich with memories. And as solemn and beautiful as the day was, it also had a little humor. Fr. Francis had a practice of carrying the newly baptized babies up to the sanctuary and walking around with them up there. Before giving the baby back to the parents, he would lay the baby on the altar for a moment. Sound asleep Madeline shocked him when she was the first ever to let one rip on the altar. Let's just say that Fr. Francis was rather surprised and went on about how he couldn't believe what had just happened for several minutes. It's one of those stories that comes up from time to time at family gatherings.

1 comment:

  1. what a special memory to have Karen! something you'll be able to share with Madeline (and continue to share with her as she learns more and more about her faith :)



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