"Welcoming, charitable, and empowered
to live the Gospel"

Our Mother of Good Counsel,
located in Bryn Mawr, PA,
just 20 minutes west of Philadelphia,
welcomes all!

Letter to Seth

Dear Friends,

A friend of mine, a young Evangelical pastor in Staten Island, invited me to look at a question on Facebook from a father faced with a decision.  Here’s the man’s question and my response:

"I'm looking for some advice on the christening of my daughter. Both my mother and my wife are trying very hard to convince me to go ahead with it, but we are not Christian. We don't attend a church. We do not practice any religion whatsoever, and I'm struggling to see the purpose in doing this."

- Life of Dad user, Seth H.

Dear Seth,

First of all, I commend you for at least being open enough to the possibility of baptizing (christening) your child that you would seek out to the opinion of others on the subject. I hope these following thoughts might help you in some small way.

If you and I were to sit down face-to-face and talk about it, there are many questions I would ask you. I would, of course, want to sit down both with you and your wife. I would start with these two:

Number one, I would ask you the age of your daughter. Is she if a few months old? Is she five or six? Is she 11 or 12? Her age will of course make a difference in how we approach the matter.

For the sake of our conversation, I’m going to assume that she’s probably under a year. If you want to, you can get back to me to correct me about that.

The second thing I would do is to ask which Christian denomination your wife belongs to. I am a Roman Catholic. And we are always ready to welcome into our community of faith anyone who expresses interest in joining us. If your wife was raised RC, we would invite her to re-engage in her faith and would help and support her in that. And certainly, we’d be happy to answer any questions about our faith that you may have. We would never force you to become a Roman Catholic as a condition for your child to be baptized. But your child needs to have at least one parent trying to live the faith in order to help your daughter to grow up in the faith and to model for her how to be a Catholic Christian.

If your wife was raised in another denomination, I would probably introduce you to a fellow Christian pastor of your wife’s denomination and entrust your family to his or her care.

Here’s the thing about baptism, Seth:
Baptism is much more than just a cultural/social milestone. I was baptized 68 years ago when I was three weeks old. The older I get as a Christian, the more and more I understand the astounding immensity of what happened to me, as a little baby that day in 1949. I am eternally grateful to my mother and father for making that decision on my behalf. Many other Christian denominations wait to baptize their children until they are old enough to understand what it’s about and chose for themselves. And that’s OK. Some Catholic parents make that same decision for their children for the same reason. I can understand that. Infant baptism is the norm in the RC tradition, and I am VERY glad that in my case it happened when and how it happened.

Through the pouring of the water and the words my pastor pronounced that day, I became permanently plugged into, permanently connected to the victory of the Cross of Jesus – His victory over death that resulted in the new life of His Resurrection. Through that connection with Jesus in baptism I am experiencing the fruits of His victory and of His new life here and now in an imperfect way, but I know that I will experience it fully when I enter into the Kingdom.

On that day 68 years ago, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God Himself came into me and made me His Temple. And despite my wrongheadedness and sinfulness and stupidity and selfishness, that Holy Spirit never gives up on me and always tries to guide me closer to the Father and to reveal to me the love of the Father’s Son, Jesus Christ.

When he poured the water, the pastor’s words were: “I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” From that moment on I became intimately attached to the ever-existing, everlasting community of love that is the Holy Trinity. What a gift that has been to me to know that God has loved me so much as to desire to share His dynamic and tremendous love for me through Baptism!

On that day I became a member of the Body of Christ, which is the Church – the worldwide community of all who believe in Him. Because of that, I have brothers and sisters all over this planet. Most of them I don’t know, of course, but I have been blessed to live and to serve with them in Japan (for 18 years) and in many other places.

Seth, I could go on and on about what happened to me that day 68 years ago and how it affects me in the here and now. I hope you *do* decide to baptize your daughter. Baptism is a tremendous gift from God. At the same time, I hope that both you and your wife will provide for her an environment to make that gift grow.

If this was a help and you would like to chat more, please feel free to IM me on FB. I will pray for you, Seth, and for your wife and daughter.

Pastor Teddy, thanks for drawing Seth’s question to my attention. Blessings on you, your family and your flock. 

Peace,
Fr. Liam

Mass Intentions for 2018

The Mass intention book for 2018 will open on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

As in the past, each parishioner may request intentions for up to four (4) Sunday Masses per year.  Likewise, in order to ensure fairness for persons at the back of the line, each parishioner may request intentions for up to twelve (12) weekday Masses at this time. Then on Tuesday, August 22 after everyone has had a chance to make their requests, all parishioners who have already secured 12 weekday Mass intentions will be free to request as many as they need.

Thank you very much for your understanding.

Peace,
Fr. Liam

Morning Prayer at OMGC

Here at Our Mother of Good Counsel, each Monday through Saturday morning, we celebrate Morning Prayer in common following the 8:00am Mass. Everyone is invited (around 8:30am) to join us in the daily chapel for this beautiful way to begin the day!

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