SHAYNE KAYLNN GUADALUPE DECKER:  Beloved daughter of God and of Sean and Tracie Conway, was welcomed into Christ’s family through the miraculous waters of Baptism last Sunday at the 10:30 a.m.  Mass.  The waters had been stirred up and blessed not only by me, who had the joy of ministering this Sacrament, but also by a group of small children, Shayne’s peers, who joined me in “moving” the waters.  Most of the assembly came back to the commons, after together renouncing Satan—father of all that is evil—and professing our faith in the Creed, and witnessed God’s saving action. Upon coming up out of the waters, Shayne was anointed with the Oil of Chrism, consecrated by our Archbishop during the Chrism Mass in Holy Week, and she became royalty. I suggested she was every bit as royal as Her    Highness Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry, so we could call Shayne “Her Highness.”  All in all, it was a blessed experience, certainly for Shayne, her family and myself; but also, I pray, for all who witnessed and participated in this special event.


          It is most appropriate to celebrate Baptism in the context of Mass for the sacrament celebrates the newly baptized one’s entry into the Body of Christ, his Church.  It is not only highly appropriate but also important to have the Church gathered, rather than celebrating the sacrament privately.  The celebration is “an event of the local Church community surrounding, praying over, and welcoming the child into the Church and into the life of Christ. All the members of the Church have ‘an important part to play in the baptism of the Child’ (Rite of Baptism of Children, 4). The ‘faith in which the children are baptized is not the private possession of the individual family, but the common treasure of the whole Church of Christ’ (#4). The community is present to help, support, pray, and nurture the faith of the child as he or she grows in communion with Jesus Christ and the Church itself.”  The spirit that was so apparent during Shayne’s baptism last Sunday had to be a tremendous support to Tracie and Sean.


          We have another baptism in the month of July that will take place during Sunday Mass.  We will announce this in the bulletin the week before, so that those who wish may go to a different Mass.  Shayne’s Baptism added perhaps 10 minutes to the Mass; but, keep in mind, it was also Father’s Day and there was a special blessing added for our Dad’s.  Ordinarily, I can work to make my homily very short on those days, for the unfolding of the sacrament of Baptism in itself announces the Good News.


          I trust you know that St. Clement parish (actually it’s the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on our behalf) has a lease agreement with Franciscan Ministries, Inc., a mission of the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, for their use of the parish convent (Tau House) for retreats and service   projects by young people. This is a mutually beneficial arrangement for St. Clement, bringing income into the parish by using a building that would otherwise sit empty, and offering a great space for the Ministries that happen there.  Next week there will 33 young people from     Woodstock, IL staying there.  In July, groups from Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan as well as from Ohio will be using the place. These young people and their adult leaders frequently attend our daily Mass in the morning bringing their youthful exuberance to our worship.


          Stay cool and happy!  Don’t hesitate to let me know how I can be of service to you.