by Ma. Teresita Arvisu
A few steps to the left upon entering the main door of the shrine on Kanlaon side is the baptistery. The image of Our Lady of Lourdes, encased in glass, looks over the brand new baptismal font where the children of the parish, in the presence of their parents and godparents, will receive the Sacrament of Baptism.
Rev. Fr. Jefferson E. Agustin, OFMCap. Rector and Parish Priest, blessed the baptismal font on February 25, 2022, immediately after the 6:00 PM Mass. Crafted with the same design as the altar, the marble baptismal font has eight sides, and is encased in wood with gold accents. Eight is a biblically symbolic number that refers to the Resurrection – when Jesus rose from the dead on the eighth day – an occasion of great joy.
Fr. Agustin uttered a powerful prayer with an even more powerful promise, “We are about to bless a new baptismal font for all who will come forth reborn from it. Receiving God’s mercy, they will as a result of their baptism, become members of a people set apart, the Church; they will be joined to Christ, the firstborn of many brothers and sisters, and, having received the Holy Spirit of adoption, they will dare to call upon God as Father in virtue of being his children.”
With outstretched hands he prayed, “This pool is opened and in it is the newness of its pure waters will again make clean and spotless those who were stained by the old ways of sin.”
The paschal candle was set on the left of the font, symbolizing “holy light that banishes the darkness from the mind.”
Then Fr. Agustin slowly circled the baptismal font as he blessed it with incense.
Of those who will be baptized, he asked God to, “Make them true sons and daughters who reflect their Father’s goodness…” Lastly, “Enable them to fill with the Spirit of Christ the earthly city where they live, until they are welcomed home in the heavenly Jerusalem.”
After the rite of blessing, the cover of the baptismal font was returned. At the top of the cover is a special detail – a sculpture of St. John the Baptist baptizing Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The earnest care and meticulous detail in preparing the new baptismal font, the awe-inspiring prayers of blessing reflect the ultimate importance of the Sacrament of Baptism.
Community Baptism is held on Saturdays at 10:00 AM and Sundays at 12:00 NN. For more information please visit or call the parish office at 02-8-7319306 during office hours: Monday to Saturday: 8:00 am – 11:30 am and 2:00 pm- 5:00 pm; Sundays: 7:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Alexii Alipio