My son, Anthony Ignatius, was baptized today in our parish of St. Joseph. It was a beautiful sacrament, as always, but the day wasn’t without its challenges.
It started yesterday when I got a call from my friend and our former pastor, Fr. Murphy, that he wouldn’t be able to make it today. That was disappointing because he married Melanie and me and has baptized our first three kids. But we have a great pastor now, Fr. Currie, who was just awesome and always gives so completely of himself in every way. He is truly Christ-like in the way he empties himself for his parish.
This morning, as we rushed about with last minute preparations, Melanie got a text from her sister, who was at work (she’d forgot to ask for today off from work to attend the baptism). Her sister said she was coming home early, because she was sick. She’s had an awful migraine since December(!) and today it was bad enough to be making her sick to her stomach.
Melanie was already rushing because we were down one set of hands and wasn’t paying close enough attention to what she was chopping that she sliced off the end of her thumb. She was bleeding pretty good. I thought she should go to the ER, but she insisted she wasn’t going to miss the baptism. She wrapped it in a bunch of gauze and then we tried to make ourselves and the kids presentable enough. None of us ended up in our nice clothes because Melanie was one-handed and we’d lost so much time cleaning up her hand.
Finally we got to the church and the ceremony began and then Anthony began filling his diaper. Loudly. Repeatedly. My sister, who was holding him, looked down and he was leaking through his own clothes and the baptismal gown that all the kids have worn. While Fr. Currie continued his homily, I quickly moved Anthony to a pew and my other sister came to my assistance and I changed him as best I could.
After the ceremony, as we got to the house, I had to calm my family, convincing them that my sister-in-law was not contagious and going to make them all sick with a stomach bug. Finally, Melanie and her dad and Anthony were bundled off the ER where she was fixed up and got home fifteen minutes after the last guest had left.
I feel bad for Melanie, but in the end what matters is that Anthony has received the cleansing from original sin and gained entrance to the family of God. And of course, Melanie will be fine. Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the ceremony.