Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Signs of Hope

On Saturday morning last six adults who are preparing for baptism, confirmation and First Communion attended what is called 'Appel Decisif' at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris. The ceremony is a decisive moment when each person accepts a purple stole from Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, and signs their name as a pledge to go forward for baptism at the Easter Vigil in their own parish. There are 350 adults preparing for baptism in 95 Paris parishes. I was delighted to be invited to read the Gospel (in English) and to offer a prayer of the faithful during the ceremony. St Joseph's six candidates for baptism have been preparing alongside another four adults who are alredy baptised but have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation. All 10 will receive their sacraments at St Joseph's Church, Ave Hoche, during the Easter Vigil. One of these 10 comes from China, another from Hong Kong, four from North America and one from South America, one from Parkistan, one from Nigeria and one from South Africa.
Already, two applicants to prepare for Baptism at Easter 2013 have enrolled for next year's course. At a difficult time for the church, this is a shoot of hope.                                                         A T

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