The stained-glass window in St Oliver’s Church illustrates the Baptism of the Lord and Pentecost Sunday. At the centre of the window, we can see the priest pouring Holy Water and baptising the child in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
This window could summarise the journey for many families around our parish. Several hundred families will set out on a journey this year towards First Confession, Confirmation and First Communion.
Working from the ground up in the window, we see the Baptism of Our Lord by John the Baptist at the Jordan river.
In the upper part of the window, the apostles are gathered with Our Lady on the day of Pentecost – a reminder that God’s Holy Spirit is poured fully into the hearts of parishioners on their Confirmation Day.
The light of Christ from which the infant’s baptismal candle is lit is shining brightly in welcome for them beside the baptismal font.
Dear Parents, you have come here to present these children for baptism. By water and the Holy Spirit they are to receive the gift of new life from God who is love.
On your part, you must make it your constant are to bring them up in the practice of the faith. See that the divine life which God gives them is kept safe from the poison of sin, to grow always stronger in their hearts.”Rite of Baptism for Children
Pope Francis reminded parents that one of the simplest ways of handing on the faith to their children is by teaching them so make the Sign of the Cross – and to make it well. During his address in Croke Park in August 2018, he said:
“It is very important that children learn as early as possible to make the sign of the cross well. It is the first “creed” that they learn, a way of saying “I believe” in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This evening, before going to bed, ask yourselves, as parents: do I teach my children to make a good sign of the cross? Think about it, it is up to you!”Pope Francis – WMOF 2018
As a parish community we have moved from the joy of Christmas to the life-giving events of Christ’s public ministry. This begins at his Baptism in the river Jordan.
Parishioners are invited to include a New Year’s resolution for prayer at home, at work, in school so that they can nurture our young parishioners in the ways of faith. This is particularly true for those who are on the journey towards their First Confession, Confirmation and First Holy Communion.
Three Suggestions for parishioners this weekend
• We all know and celebrate our Date of Birth.
Can you discover your date of baptism and some photos from the day?
Make a note in your diary to celebrate your baptismal birthday day as well as your physical birthday!
• Make a generous sign of the cross with Holy Water before and after Mass this weekend. Our parish Sunday Mass times are available here.
• Central heating can cause the Holy Water to evaporate in the font at home! 😉 Might you encourage a young member of your family on the way to First Confession or Confirmation to keep your font “topped up”?
(Fonts and Holy Water bottles are available in the parish shop – link here)
Link for Signup Form available here: http://eepurl.com/gdU2AP
(for parents/guardians who might have not yet provided an email address)