Seventy years ago today I was baptized, becoming a member of the Body of Christ, the Church.
Someone took pictures which I have scanned as a memory of this important event in my life.
What I find interesting is that both my grandmothers were there – and my grandmother Donaghy, Nana, was not Catholic (neither was my father at the time of my baptism.)
I feel blessed to have been baptized but I also feel blessed for where I was baptized, in Saint Raphael’s parish in the Meadows, in West Philadelphia.
On the day of my father’s burial I found out a lot of this neighborhood where my parents grew up. I was sitting with my aunt Mary (whose husband, uncle George) had been my godfather) and my cousin Mary, looking at some photos.
Aunt Mary told me that Catholics, Protestants, Jews, blacks, and whites all lived in the neighborhood. She also told me how there were basketball games in the parish gym where all these played together.
I often have wondered why my experience of the world has been so open and my parents without prejudice. They grew up living with those who were different from themselves. Their faith in God moved them to embrace the world.
For this I am grateful.