Baptism Mass of Rose

Fr Ellis reading the gospel. Photo taken by Simeon, age 4.
Yesterday priests and faithful gathered for mass and the baptism of our daughter, Rose, at the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit, Bovey Tracey. We were not at Buckfast Abbey this week because they had a big diocesan celebration in the afternoon (no, the abbot hasn't chucked us out!). Fr Carrick, the parish priest, had graciously opened his doors for us to use his church for mass and baptism. So at 12noon priests and faithful of the Ordinariate, family members, friends and former parishioners gathered to celebrate the bringing of Rose into Christ's body. Fr David Silk, of the Ordinariate, was principal celebrant and preacher, and the three concelebrants (Fr Lashbrooke, Fr Furness and Fr Ellis) were also of the Ordinariate. Another ordinariate priest, Fr Ed Tomlinson, was in the area on holiday, so he and his family also joined us. So we were very well supported by so many different people all joyfully gathering to celebrate baby Rose's incorporation into the body of Christ. It was touching that all my former local parishes were represented by someone from the regular congregation. It was truly a moment of grace.

Fr Silk celebrated the sacraments for us with his gentle authority and peace. He helped us reflect on the scriptures (which were read from the RSV, which is now the norm for the Ordinariate) and led us into a parable of his own, bringing out the meaning of the sacrament of baptism as the restoration of the image of God in us, just as a painting is restored revealing the true image originally intended.

As the Church is a stone's throw from the vicarage we opened our doors for a celebratory barbecue buffet. With lots of contributions from various kitchens we were able to share an abundance of food happily in the warm afternoon of Sunday, as our varied guests mingled together enjoying each other's company.

For the family it was a time of great joy. The day also carried for us a sort of calm, especially as we reflected how much the family had been through just recently: the birth, sickness and uncertainty about our future home. Now we know where our home is to be. Now Rose is in safe harbour, just as the rest of the family are.
Blessed be God for His generous gift of grace. As the psalm said today so our year has been crowned with God's goodness.

Fr Ian Hellyer