Friday, January 27, 2012

"Let the little children come to me, after all of the proper forms are filled out and they've been certified by the relevant authorities."

Mike & I were asked to be godparents to his sister's baby.  Baby L, we'll call him, was born in July and still has yet to receive the sacrament.  We of course are concerned that so much time has gone by, but in the past few days we have discovered why.  SIL lives in Texas and she recently informed us that we, to be godparents, have to attend a baptism class.  Now, for Marshall's baptism, our priest, who knows us well and to be faithful Catholics, waived our baptismal class requirement (we took one for Jack, but our diocese states that you need to re-take the class if 5 years have passed since your last class).  For our own child!  So we let SIL know this and she said ok, she would let her parish know and it shouldn't be a problem. is a problem, apparently.  She called a few days ago to let us know that her parish wasn't budging on this issue and demands that we take a baptismal class, regardless of the fact that we just baptized our own child THREE WEEKS ago!!

Let me be clear: we're not anti-baptismal classes.  We think they're a great idea for parents of the child receiving the sacrament - as long as the child's sacrament isn't being delayed because of it.  And at this point, that's what's happening.  Not because we haven't taken the class yet, but because all the proper forms haven't been filled out yet!!  When Jack was baptized, we set the date and then the priest worked with us on a time we could come in for our info session/class.  Perfect.  That's how it should work.  The state of a child's eternal soul should not rest on whether or not the proper boxes have been checked!  (Oh..and they're also telling her they can't do it until after Lent now!  I guess they don't have any "openings" until then.  Openings??  For baptism???  GET THIS CHILD BAPTIZED!!  It doesn't take that long!  He'll almost be  a year old by then!!!  Appalling, and dare I say, sinful.)

Back to our story.  So Mike was, well, let's say "not happy."  He asked her for the number to her church office so he could talk the baptismal director himself.  He was able to reach her and she insisted that a baptismal class for godparents is "Canon Law."  He argued that no, it is not, and asked to speak to the pastor.  Amazingly the pastor was in and agreed to speak with him.  He too insisted that this "requirement" is Canon Law.  Mike swore that, no, it is not.  The pastor just insisted that we need to take the class and hey, even he learns something new every time!  Well, great, but we wouldn't even be taking their class so how do they know what we'd learn??  Which just proves that this is simply an effort in formalities and "box-checking."  In the end, the pastor reluctantly agreed that maybe a letter from our priest would suffice.

I called my pastor who agreed that this is all just a big bizarre formality and who confirmed that no, a class for godparents is not a Canon Law requirement.  All that is required by Canon Law is that the godparents be Catholics in good standing, which again, a letter from our priest will confirm for them.  I asked my pastor that if the letter wasn't good enough, what we should do.  He replied, "Well it better be, but if not, just come in for a cup of coffee and we'll call it a day!"  Love that guy!

Again, let me state that we're not anti-baptismal education classes.  I think they're great for Catechesis (which I believe is severely lacking these days) and that most people benefit from them.  I just think it's horrific that a child's sacrament is delayed because of it. Mike even found on the church's website that baptisms require THREE MONTHS notice to "process all the paperwork!"  WHAT?!?!  Three months???  What IS Canon Law requirement is that babies should be baptized as soon as possible following birth!

"Can.  867 §1. Parents are obliged to take care that infants are baptized in the first few weeks; as soon as possible after the birth or even before it, they are to go to the pastor to request the sacrament for their child and to be prepared properly for it."

And here is the Canon Law requirement for sponsors:

"Can.  872 Insofar as possible, a person to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who assists an adult in Christian initiation or together with the parents presents an infant for baptism. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.Can.  873 There is to be only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.Can.  874 §1. To be permitted to take on the function of sponsor a person must:1/ be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;2/ have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;3/ be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;4/ not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;5/ not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.§2. A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism."

In the end, we'll take the class if this ends up being the hinging factor.  We won't allow ourselves to be what delays the sacrament any longer.  Maybe I sound childish, but it's the principle of the thing at this point! We don't have time to take the class in all honesty, and I'm not even sure that the next one at our parish would occur before the date she has set.  And my pastor agreed that it's ridiculous.

Something else that came up in our extensive discussions over this is: Shouldn't a baby be baptized regardless of the parents' intent to raise the child Catholic?  I mean, yes, the parents should raise the child Catholic if they want to baptize him Catholic.  But should that be a be-all-end-all requirement?  In extenuating circumstances, shouldn't they always want to baptize a baby?  Shouldn't the church go ahead and baptize a baby on the spot if a non-Catholic couple walks into a church and says, "We want you to baptize our baby"?  I know it's not an ideal situation but isn't it better than the innocent child walking around with Original Sin until the parents get their act together?  We did read that if a baby is left at a church, it's the priest's obligation to baptize him immediately.  Maybe I'm wrong, but that just seems like the right thing to do.  Any insight on that?

Another question: Can anyone baptize a baby?  I mean, I know anyone can, but I've also read that the parents have to request it in order for it to "count."  What's the rule on that one?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Blogger Meetup!

It's been way too long since I've had a blogger meetup so last night's was awesome!  But not just for that reason, but because I met an AWESOME lady!!  I drove up to Philly with the boys to meet up with Carla from Bringing Henry Home.  Oh my gosh, this woman is a saint-in-waiting, let me tell you!  And her baby boy - I was almost in tears he was so precious!!  After she recovered from losing her phone (the poor woman), we had an excellent evening and I hope we get to meet up again when they're back out here for Henry's surgery this spring!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Because I'm at a loss

I've been trying to think of something super inspirational and reflective to post today on the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  But since a tiny human is taking up most of my energy and brain power lately, I'll settle for reposting my post from this day last year:

 On this day 38 years ago, our nation decriminalized murder -- the murder of a particular class of human beings who was deemed less than human by unelected judges.  And in these 38 years, we have lost 50 million of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.

Born in 1978, I am an abortion survivor.  I will march on Monday, while 1/3 of my generation intercedes from Heaven.

On this day of remembrance*, please join me in prayer:

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father, Creator of the world, have mercy on us. RESPONSE: Have mercy on us!
God the Son, through whom all things were made,
God the Holy Spirit, Lord and Giver of Life,
Lord Jesus, the Beginning and the End,
Lord Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
Lord Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life,
Lord Jesus, Eternal Word of Life,
Lord Jesus, living in the womb of the Virgin Mary,
Lord Jesus, Lover of the poor and weak,
Lord Jesus, Defender of the helpless,
Lord Jesus, Bread of Life,

For every sin against life,
For the sin of abortion,
For the daily killing of innocent babies,
For the bloodshed throughout our land,
For the silent screams of Your children,
For the killing of Your future disciples,
For the exploitation of women by abortion,
For the silence of Your people,
For the apathy of Your people,
For the co-operation of Your people in this tragedy,

For our pre-born brothers and sisters killed by abortion, RESPONSE: Lord, hear our prayer.
For our pre-born brothers and sisters threatened by abortion,
For our brothers and sisters who have survived abortion,
For mothers who have had abortions,
For mothers tempted to have abortions,
For mothers pressured to have abortions,
For mothers who have refused to have abortions,
For the fathers of aborted babies,
For the families of aborted babies,
For the families of those tempted to have abortions
For abortionists,
For all who assist and cooperate in abortions,
For doctors and nurses, that they may nurture life,
For government leaders, that they may defend life,
For the clergy, that they may speak up for life,
For the pro-life movement,
For those who speak, write, and work to end abortion,
For those who help provide alternatives to abortion…
For those who promote adoption,
For national and local pro-life groups,
For unity in the pro-life movement,

For courage and perseverance in pro-life work,
For those who suffer ridicule and rejection for their stand for life,
For those imprisoned for defending life,
For those who have been injured and mistreated for defending life,
For legal professionals,
For courts and judges,
For police officers,
For educators,
For media professionals,

In thanksgiving for the babies saved from abortion,
In thanksgiving for the mothers saved and healed from abortion,
In thanksgiving for the former abortion providers who have become pro-life,
In thanksgiving for all those who take a stand against abortion,
In thanksgiving for the call to be part of the pro-life movement,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us,

O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Let us pray,

Almighty and ever-living God, You have created all things through Your Son Jesus Christ. He trampled the power of death by His Paschal Mystery. May all who acknowledge You promote the sacredness of life and always serve You faithfully, through the same Christ our Lord.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Patron Saints for 2012

We're only halfway through January, right?  Not too late to get in gear on choosing my annual patron saint!  Right?  Right?  Beuler?

Hmmm...this one is going to be interesting.  But I'm excited!

Using Jen's Saint Name Generator, I drew St. Damien of Molokai.  I had heard the name in the past, but didn't know much about him.  He's the patron of lepers and HIV/AIDS sufferers.

My saint for 2011 made so much sense as soon as she appeared on my computer screen, for many reasons!  This one is a little less clear, but I'm excited to see what St. Damien has in store for me in 2012!

If you're friends with me on facebook, you probably saw that Jack's Halloween costume last year was Indiana Jones, with whom he's just a bit obsessed.  So now whenever someone asks what he wants to be when he grows up, he responds, "An archaeologist!"  Which I think is pretty cool because it's totally different from the universal "doctor" or "teacher" most kids give at this age.

So Jack was sitting with me while I was choosing my saint and he said he wanted to choose one.   Cool idea, I thought.  So we "spin the wheel" and land on...Pope Saint Damasus I.  Patron saint of....archaeologists!!  Ha!  Cool kid!  Talk about making sense!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas Photos

Better late than never!  Here are some photos of Marshall's first Christmas and Jack's first as a big bro...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

No more pagans in this house!

Like I said in my last post, we ended 2011 on a pretty special note!  We welcomed our precious boy into Christ's family on New Year's Eve!

We had lots of family and friends in town to celebrate with us and our priest did a beautiful job with the ceremony.  Marshall only screamed during the least not the baptism!  Our priest said, "He's just screaming out the demons!" Haha!  :)  We are so blessed!

2011, You Will Be Missed

Today is kind of a let-down.

This time last year I had just about hit IF-rock-bottom.  The holidays were over and my past 2 cycles had begun on both Thanksgiving Day AND Christmas Day.  Literally...ON both days!!  I had gone through more than 2 years of Creighton/NaPro with very few results and zero procedures.  Then I found out a close relative was expecting and I lost it.  I thought for sure I was being punished for something.

Then I gave up.  On the vicious cycle, at least.  Not on conceiving, thank God.  I metaphorically threw my NaPro chart out the window and then called my old ob/gyn.  I got an appointment with her on Jan. 4.  I gave her my background on what I'd been doing for the past 2 years, and she immediately scheduled an HSG for 3 weeks later.  During the HSG she found that my tubes were open, but that I had polyp on my uterus, so she scheduled surgery to remove it for 2 weeks later and said she could also "throw in" a laparoscopy.  That happened on Feb. 15.  Two days before I had made a pilgrimmage to St. Gianna.  Coincidence?

In the midst of all this, I was introduced to Leila and thus, this wonderful world of Catholic IF bloggers!  That cannot be overlooked when reflecting on 2011.  You ladies literally saved my sanity.  I don't know what I'd do without you!!  Thank you for welcoming me with open arms and for all of your advice and support!

Moving on.  Polyp successfully removed and no sign of endo, I went back for my post-op follow-up on March 3.  I was given a clean bill of health and told to "see what happens" for the next 3-6 months.  I hate the "wait and see" phases, but I was finally full of hope.

Well, turns out I didn't have to wait 3-6 months because before I even had a cycle, I got the BFP.  In the meantime, you all remember the dramatic potential adoption situation that was going on at the same time.

Then began the roller coaster.  I was praying feverishly to save the live of a baby I would either adopt or whose life would end in abortion, while reeling in the news that I was going to have one of my own!  Then the adoption situation ended tragically and a few weeks later we found out we were having twins!  Then of course the emotions of losing a twin, the stress of making sure the surviving baby kept surviving, and it's all history.

So it's been a year of ups and downs, but I can certainly conclude that overall it was a HUGE "up" because it all culminated in this:

Of course this precious bundle came into our lives just before Thanksgiving, making the holiday season exciting and special.  Mike was on paternity leave for the last 6 weeks (I jealous), then I just recently had a house full of family over Christmas.  We ended 2011 on the best note possible - welcoming our new baby into Christ's family on New Year's Eve (baptism pics to come soon!).  But family all left today and Mike goes back to work and Jack back to school on Tuesday.  Reality will finally begin again and I'll be forced to go it alone.  The exciting and special holiday season is just over, and 2011 has come to a close.  So was kind of a let-down.

The fact that all of these ups and downs happened to occur within one calendar year makes 2011 pretty special.  I went from rock bottom on Jan. 1 of last year, to the best day of my life on Nov. 19 of last year.  I experienced the worst and the best of my IF journey in a single year.

2011 came full circle.  It'll be tough to top.