From The Hand of Fr. Aaron Ferris For January 13, 2019

I love Baptism. People often ask me what my favorite part of being a priest is. It is a hard question because I am not sure there is one answer, but one part that I do love is Baptism. I love baptizing people, especially infants. It is so wonderful to take part in the incredible work of God’s salvation. A tiny little human is taken from the jaws of sin and death and made an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven. It is awesome.

It also helps that after the Baptism I get to hold the baby for pictures, and I am a total sucker for holding a baby.

One of my pet peeves surrounding Baptism, though, is when parents delay getting their child baptized. There is no reason for this. Once you know a baby is on the way, you know when, more or less, the baby will arrive. Every expectant mother I have ever talked to knows when her due date is, even if she just met with the doctor, which leads me to believe the due date is given on the first appointment. I may be mistaken, but it seems that most babies come within a couple weeks before or after the due date.

This means you have something like eight months to meet with your pastor and set up a time for the Baptism. It also means you have eight months for the family to plan to be there. I totally understand procrastination, but I think even this may be stretching it. Often people say they are so busy, especially if it is the first child. I get it, there is so much you have to get ready. However, there is nothing more important than the baby’s eternal salvation.

A baptized baby goes straight to heaven if, God forbid, tragedy strikes. God has not told us how He handles the deaths of the unbaptized babies. We know that He is a loving Father and that He does not abandon His children, but we do not have the certainty that we have with Baptism. This means it is incumbent on parents to ensure that their children are baptized as soon as possible, for their children’s sake.

There is no hard and fast rule about when should happen. A general rule of thumb, though, is that when you start talking about your baby’s age in months instead of weeks, you have waited too long. Again, there is an easy solution. Plan ahead. Plan months ahead. As soon as you have a due date, sit down with your pastor and set a date a couple weeks after the due date. Then you and your whole family can celebrate together, and Father can be excited about an upcoming Baptism.

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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