Wednesday, June 15

BAPTISM -- THE BIRTH OF A CATHOLIC'S LIFE OF FAITH

So why have I not been blogging? Where have I been since last Thursday?

My wife and I made the trip north to attend the Baptism of our youngest grandson, 6-month old Austin Burgess Higgins.

In the photograph, you see our lovely daughter-in-law Krissy holding our grandson Austin, with our youngest son Joe -- the proud father -- peering over Krissy's shoulder at their firstborn. The priest performing the blessed Sacrament of Baptism is "Father Jack." The godparents looking on are Jennifer and Kevin.

Ironically, the priest's middle name is "Austin," as is the writer's (yes, me -- the happy, proud-as-punch grandfather). My grandson was given my middle name for his first name and my daughter-in-law's father's first name, Burgess, for his middle name.

The Sacrament was performed during a late afternoon Mass on Saturday, June 11th. Along with me and my wife, in attendance for our family were my son James and his son -- the older of our two grandsons -- James Matthew, who will soon turn 6-years old, as well as my wife's mother, Jean. The rest of our family resides on the West Coast and could not attend. Krissy's family, most members of whom live in the Louisville area, was well-represented, among them her mother Hilda and her grandmother Sesselja.

Krissy and Joe hosted a cookout at their home following Mass and the Baptism, and Father Jack was kind enough to join us all to meet family and friends. Father Jack has an engaging personality and was a lot of fun.

For a Catholic, Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of the Church (the other two being Confirmation and Holy Eucharist) that introduce a new member to the Catholic Church and set him or her on the pathway to Christ and a life of faith. It is this blessed Sacrament that removes all vestiges of original sin and infuses the baptized with a spiritual mind and spirit. Thus my grandson Austin can now obtain spiritual salvation and has been received into the Body of Christ.

It was a happy, blessed occasion, and Cathy and I wouldn't conceive of missing it or the time spent with our "Kentucky" family.