Mike and I were raised Catholic. I left the church a long time ago for a number of reasons. We’ve been attending the local Unitarian church, with which we are both more comfortable, but you just don’t become un-Catholic. Neither does your family.
Last time I was home, my very Lutheran Dad asked me about Donovan being baptized. I started to realize what for me was no big deal was to he and my Mom (and I’m sure to Mike’s folks as well) a very big deal. Well, I thought, OK—let’s do it. I called the church I last went to in Elyria to look into having Donny baptized there.
I was fully expecting to have to wheedle my way into it with whoever I ended up speaking to—I figured it would be like when people want a church wedding but aren’t of the church in question.
What I didn’t expect was for the nun who called to tell me that Donny wasn’t eligible to be baptized there because I wasn’t baptized there. Plus, if I wanted to have him baptized at St. Mary’s where I was baptized they would probably tell me no as well because baptism introduces the child “into the worshipping community.” “Well,” I kind of sputtered, “I was thinking of the worshipping community as transcending brick and mortar, so to speak” I went on to explain to the nun that Sacred Heart was my favorite uncle’s church and that Donovan’s middle name was that uncle’s name and that I felt very connected there because of my Hungarian heritage and I was sort of hoping not to have my frail 83 year old parents to schlep it out to Pittsburgh. She apologized and said, in a consolation prize sort of way, that if I have him baptized in Pittsburgh then I can think of him as having entered the same worshipping community, just on a larger scale.
That’s when I thanked her and hung up.
Denying children baptism because of paperwork: I’m sure that’s what Jesus would do.