Baptism is the sacrament where we join the community of faith. We become part of the People of God, At this time we are given a name- we refer to this as our Christian name. It is the tradition of the Church that this is a saint's name, a name of one of the heroes among Christ's followers, his apostles, those saints we are so familiar with, St Patrick, St Joseph, St Bridget, St Catherine, the list goes on.
Here in Carrickmacross we celebrate this sacrament on the first Sunday and the third Saturday .of each month It is recommended that families give three weeks notice to us, this enables both the Baptism team, and the priest who will celebrate the baptism to visit the family.
St Josephs Baptism Team
A Canadian Couple who had come to live in Ireland had just given birth to their 3rd child. They called around to The Parish Priests House to arrange for the Baptism of their newborn Baby and enquired when the preparation for Baptism would begin. This incident occurred in a Dublin Parish in the early eighties. The idea of Baptismal preparation was very much in its infancy. This particular Parish, as it so happened had a Programme up and running and the Parish Priest was delighted to be approached by a couple actually enquiring about preparation for the Sacrament. Since that time an increasing number of Parishes through out the country have initiated Baptismal Teams and Preparation Programmes for Baptism.
In 1999 here in St Josephs Carrickmacross a Baptismal Team was selected, 4 people from the parish, Mary Mc Garrell, Michael Callan, Pauline Fox and Pauline O Hagan were approached By Monsignor Connolly to undertake training for this Ministry.
The training took place over a course of weekends in Clones under the direction of Raymond Topley. The idea of Preparation for Baptism was firstly to enrich the celebration of the Sacrament and secondly to help alleviate the work of the Priests of the Parish.
The Community has responded very favorably to this Ministry since its introduction to the Parish. Since then the Team has grown to seven members with Jane Matthews, Anne Marie Brown and Patrice Kerley joining the Team.