05.27.10

The Christening

Posted in Excerpts at 08:46 am by admin

            Gracie's ChristeningOn April 20th I flew to Jackson Mississippi.  As the airplane was descending and preparing to land I looked out of the window at the vibrant green colors, blue waters of the many small lakes below, and I started to cry.  I do not cry easily and wondered why this was happening to me.  What was happening within me, at this moment to cause me to cry?  Then it came to me like a bolt of lightening!  I was going to the Catholic Christening of my granddaughter Gracie.  What would my father and mother think?  Especially my mother, who believed that it was very rare that a Catholic would make it to heaven, and in my book, Divine Betrayal, (Chapter Thirteen, p.137) I write: “I joked with Mother about how shocked she would someday be to get to heaven and see all those Catholics milling about.  She threw me a stiff glance that said she knew better.”  And here I was on my way to the Christening of her great-granddaughter in the Roman Catholic Church.  But I soon discovered that these tears turned from sadness to tears of joy.  A flood of emotion filled me and I sobbed and cried even harder.

            Saturday was the ceremony.  When we got to the church the first person I met was the priest.  Before going on, I want to explain that my youngest daughter Martha married Todd, a young man from Jackson Mississippi.  His family has a long tradition in the Catholic Church.  Todd’s grandparents came from Italy and this Church has played a major role in his upbringing.   Gracie’s baptismal gown was made from handkerchiefs her great-grandmother brought from Italy.  The hem of the gown had embroidered names and dates of other family members who had used this gown.  The priest, Father Curley, came from another town to perform this ceremony, for he had christened Gracie’s Dad and all of Gracie’s aunts, uncles and cousins.   Sadly, Father Curley had buried Gracie’s  grandmother only two year before.  Father Curley was one of the family.  The ceremony was beautiful, Martha and Todd beamed the whole time, and I cried tears of joy.  

            This Christening was very special for me.  I somehow feel that if my mother  could have experienced this wonderful occasion she might have changed her mind about Catholics.  If she had the opportunity to intimately know this wonderful Christian family  she might change her mind.  She might have discovered  what it means to be a  Christian, void of denominational separateness and fanatical dogmas…simply believing, and promising, as we did during this Christening, that we would support Gracie in her Christian journey as we continue our own.

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