Sunday, September 6, 2009

Xavier is no longer a Pagan!

Just kidding by the title, but he is now a certified Catholic after today's baptism! I wanted to share a couple pictures and two letters from the Godfather and Godmother:

From the Godmother

Dear Xavier,

Welcome to the family of the Catholic Church, a family that will give you the love, support, and courage you need on your earthy journey to Heaven. As your Godmother, I'm here to help you and your parents in any ay as part of that journey. Remember to stay strong in your faith and always diligent in your prayers to lead you on the path to Heaven. Know that you are in my prayers.

God bless,


From the Godfather:
Dear Xavier Thomas,
My dear Godson, it's such a pleasure tha tyou are finally here!! I was thrilled ten months ago to hear of your expected arrival, as I am thrilled on the eve of your baptism. I wish for you a life filled with a great faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. Please know that you will be in my daily thoughts and prayers and know that if there is any way I can help you, get in touch whenever. Always honor your parents and your Lord and our Lady and you will enjoy a life of fulfillment! With prayers, I remain yours ever, with much , much love. C

So those two were indeed beautiful. Here are some pictures now (you might have to click on some of them to get them to show up full size without cutting some of the picture off, depending on your resolution):

Dad and Son:

Mom and Son:
Godparents (click to enlarge):

Fr. Andrew begins the actual Baptism:
A closeup shot:

Can't tell who is happier me or Father Andrew (click to enlarge)!

All of us with the Lord Jesus present in the tabernacle behind us (click to enlarge)!

The best part?! He STILL smells like incense from the oil of baptism! It's awesome.

An Addition from Seraphina:
I posted some additional notes and pictures over on my personal blog!

Also, today's Gospel matched beautifully. If I may share:
Mark 7:31-37

Again Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, Ephphatha!”— that is, “Be opened!” — And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
The bold emphasis (which I added), is one of the parts of a Catholic Baptism, called the Ephphatha.
The priest takes a little spittle and touches the ears and nostrils of the candidate with it. For health reasons, the use of spittle may be omitted. This rite comes from Mark 7:33-35, when Jesus healed the deaf-mute:

Priest: Ephpheta, that is to say, Be opened, for an odour of sweetness. Be thou, devil, begone; for the judgement of God shall draw near.


mel said...

I've been in prayer for all of you today. What an incredible testimony to your faith. While it's not RC, it's still been an incredible experience to witness the baptisms of our five children, to know they belong to God, to vow to raise them according to the Scriptures, and to have them set apart, consecrated to Christ. Beautiful. Great job, parents, and abundant blessings on you, Xavier, my birthday and saint buddy.


~Joseph the Worker said...

Thanks for the prayers Mel! And, baptism is one of the sacraments that we all share as Christians, and it is indeed beautiful among all the faith traditions. I was baptized at 12 years old by full immersion!

mel said...

Thanks for the reminder. I'm learning. One is not greater than the other. All in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit "count" and are efficacious to our salvation, praise Him. A great day!

cheryl said...

Congrats proud Papa! Seraphina is absolutely radiant! The only drawback to being baptized as a baby is that you don't remember it! Maybe that's why the Church separated Confirmation from Baptism, for those of us who can't remember the latter lol. But it is a wonderful testament to God's grace! I had to laugh at the title though. It brought back bitter-sweet memories. If ever we kids missed church on Sundays, we'd be dubbed 'pagans' for the next week by dad.

Xavier, may you use every opportunity to grow in the grace of God.

(one of my favorite baptismal songs goes:)

Father welcomes all his children
to his family through his Son.
Father giving his salvation,
life forever has been won.

Little children, come to me,
for my kingdom is of these;
life and love I have to give,
mercy for your sin.

In the water, in the word,
in his promise be assured:
those who are baptised and believe
shall be born again.

Let us daily die to sin,
let us daily rise with him —
walk in the love of Christ our Lord,live in the peace of God.

God bless you, baby boy, and your family too!

~Joseph the Worker said...

Thanks so much Cheryl! Thanks for sharing the song too, it's very nice.

Seraphina said...

Mel, I have had so many overwhelmingly happy experiences as a mother so far, but the Baptism was definitely one of the top highlights so far! How wonderful it must be to have experienced it 5 times! I am hopeful Joseph and I will be able to do this more than once as well... ;)

Cheryl, thank you for the beautiful compliment! I agree that it is nice that the separation of Baptism and Confirmation in the Roman Catholic church is nice since when you are an adolescent you get to remember being Confirmed! Also, the song was beautiful - I wish I had been able to know it prior to so we could have sung it!

mel said...

We take vows to raise up our children "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" as part of the baptism, and we've reminded all of them throughout their lives..."you know that we didn't make this up....we're bound by our vows to God to raise you right...!" (finger pointing to random children...making sure they realize we're serious about their behavior or whatever was out of line....)

Sacred vows. Sacred moments. Very, very special. Thanks for sharing yours with us.

~Joseph the Worker said...

Our vows were largely tied in with our profession of Faith on behalf of Xavier:
Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith.

Celebrant: Dear parents and godparents: You have come here to present this child for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit he (she) is to receive the gift of new life from God, who is love.

On your part, you must make it your constant care to bring him (her) up in the faith. See that the divine life which God gives him (her) is kept safe from poison of sin, to grow always stronger in his (her) heart.

If your faith makes you ready to accept this responsibility, renew now the vows of your baptism. Reject sin; profess your faith in Christ Jesus. This is the faith of the Church. This is the faith in which this child is about to be baptised.

The celebrant questions the parents and godparents.

Celebrant: Do you reject Satan?
Parents & Godparents: I do.

Celebrant: And all his works?
Parents & Godparents: I do.

Celebrant: And all his empty promises?
Parents & Godparents: I do.

Next the celebrant asks for the threefold profession of faith from the parents and godparents.

Celebrant: Do you believe in the God the Father, almighty, creator of heaven and earth?
Parents & Godparents: I do.

Celebrant: Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Parents & Godparents: I do.

Celebrant: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting?
Parents & Godparents: I do.

The celebrant and the congregation give their assent to this profession of faith:

Celebrant: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church, we are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
All: Amen.

The celebrant invites the family to the font and questions the parents and godparents:

Celebrant: Is it your will that N. be baptised in the faith of the Church, which we have all professed with you?
Parents: It is.

He baptises the child, saying:


He immerses the child or pours water upon it.

Celebrant: AND OF THE SON

He immerses the child or pours water upon it a second time.


He immerses the child or pours water upon it a third time.

mel said...

Ooh, this is rich, thanks for the liturgical references.

Without hijacking your blog, I wanted to share with you both our 5 special days as well.

Matt Watson said...

Congratulations Joseph and Seraphina. BTW, it's nice to now be able to put faces to the names.

mel said...

I agree. Thanks for the pictures (faces). Reading through the long conversion story....and am moved...praise God!

~Joseph the Worker said...

Thanks Matt. And Mel, keep me updated! Also, the Godfather there is studying to be a priest. He just entered seminary. He's also an EXCELLENT organist.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Congratulations! Obviously, a very special day! The notes from the godparents are beautiful.