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The Baptism of our Lord 2020

A few thoughts from Aidan Troy, C.P.

There are many things for which I could never sufficiently thank my Parents. They gave me life and a place in a family where their children were cherished and loved. For certain, I know that they themselves did without a lot, so that we children would have a better life.

They also did something that I knew nothing about at the time. They had me brought to the Baptismal Font in the parish church to be baptised. (It was rare for the Mother to be at the Christening as it took place days after birth nor the Father as he could not afford a day off work. Baptisms were only on Thursdays at noon.)

That day changed my life. Imagine if they had not done this for me. I could never have entered the Body of Christ to be part of a believing community. Mass, Holy Communion, Confession, Confirmation would have been rituals for others but not for me.

Obviously, I could never have been ordained a priest. What my life would have been is a matter of speculation. Maybe some unfortunate female could have ended up with me as a far less than perfect husband! But I am where I am, and I could never thank my Parents enough for my baptism setting me on this pilgrimage of faith.

There was an era when some Parents decided not to have their baby baptised. Their view was that when their child was old enough, (s)he could decide for themselves. I know of instances where this worked out very well. There were other instances when the outcome was not what these good parents had envisaged.

Infant Baptism will always leave the space for the baptised infant to grow into a committed believer in love with their Lord and Saviour. The step to Holy Communion brings into clear focus the continuation of a journey begun before the child had any idea of the beauty of Baptism that Parents had blessed them with as babies. Confirmation is another moment of accepting personally being grafted onto Christ and an active member of the community of faith, the Church.

Over my years here, I can vividly recall the great joy at Holy Communion and Confirmation of seeing children and young people take a step further into love with Christ and His people. Also, each Easter Vigil I am overwhelmed by the wonder of adults of varying ages receive Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Communion. Confirmation is received by others to  complete their journey of initiation into Christ.

At St Joseph’s there are on average 50 infant Baptisms each year. Families come to have this precious gift for their beloved child. Preparation is done thoroughly by Juliet and Chris. At the end of a busy Sunday morning, I got renewed energy when baptising babies as they are brought to Jesus.

My Baptismal name chosen for me by my parents is precious. I leave ‘Father’ to God – ‘and call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father who is in Heaven.’ [Matt 23:9] Aidan will do me!


Saint Joseph's Catholic Church
50 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris, France
33(0)1 42 27 28 56

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