• Anne Bender
    March 2, 2010 Reply

    Happy Belated Anniversary of your Baptism, Archbishop! Thanks for this great reminder that as adopted children of God we are held in His hands and loved immensely, not for anything we’ve done, but simply because we are!

  • HVObserver
    March 2, 2010 Reply

    Your Excellency:

    May I add to your rejoicing on the occasion of your Baptism.

    May I also second your connection between the season of Lent and the sacrament of Baptism.

    Unfortunately, many parishes, including my own in this Archdiocese, repudiate this connection by draining the Holy Water fonts during Lent.

    This practice has been reprobated by the Holy See, in the following document from the from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments. Note that the Congregation also cites the connection between Lent and Baptism:

    “Prot. N. 569/00/L

    “March 14, 2000

    “Dear Father:

    “This Congregation for Divine Worship has received your letter sent by fax in which you ask whether it is in accord with liturgical law to remove the Holy Water from the fonts for the duration of the season of Lent.

    “This Dicastery is able to respond that the removing of Holy Water from the fonts during the season of Lent is not permitted, in particular, for two reasons:

    “1. The liturgical legislation in force does not foresee this innovation, which in addition to being praeter legem is contrary to a balanced understanding of the season of Lent, which though truly being a season of penance, is also a season rich in the symbolism of water and baptism, constantly evoked in liturgical texts.

    “2. The encouragement of the Church that the faithful avail themselves frequently of the [sic] of her sacraments and sacramentals is to be understood to apply also to the season of Lent. The “fast” and “abstinence” which the faithful embrace in this season does not extend to abstaining from the sacraments or sacramentals of the Church. The practice of the Church has been to empty the Holy Water fonts on the days of the Sacred Triduum in preparation of the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil, and it corresponds to those days on which the Eucharist is not celebrated (i.e., Good Friday and Holy Saturday).

    “Hoping that this resolves the question and with every good wish and kind regard, I am,

    “Sincerely yours in Christ,
    Mons. Mario Marini

    Will Your Excellency kindly remind pastors of this authoritative ruling from the Holy See?

  • John Connolly
    March 3, 2010 Reply


    This is a wonderful piece. Baptisms, even of those people, babies I don’t even know, move me to tears, for all the reasons you enumerated.

    I doubt your flock in NYC appreciated the comment “not bad for a wintry day in Maplewood” as much as I or any other St. Louisan did!

    John Connolly


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