AT the sacrament of baptism we welcome a new member into the community of the church, and what better occasion than during a mass. After all, the mass is the main celebration of our Catholic faith. Desmond Albrow (November 1) seems to misunderstand the meaning of the sacrament of baptism. It is not an intimate and private thing between God and the person being baptised, nor a cleansing process one must go through to enable God to love us.
God loves us whether we are baptised or not. Baptism is the beginning of our journey of faith and parents should have no doubts as to what they are undertaking when they have their child baptised. It is an ongoing commitment not a one-off thing.
The first part of the sacrament of baptism welcomes the new
member into the church. At our parish parents do have the opportunity to have their child baptised during one of the Sunday masses. As few take advantage of this opportunity in our parish the first part of every celebration of the sacrament of baptism takes place during one of the Sunday masses, usually the one that the child is most likely to attend. This takes about one minute.
I would agree with Desmond Albrow that "new Christians deserve and need a prayer". I would go further and say many prayers. During the welcoming part of the ceremony is an ideal opportunity for the other members of the congregation to pray for and welcome the new member into the community of the Catholic church locally.