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Sixteen children baptised at Easter in Berala

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The community at St Peter Chanel and St Joseph the Worker parish welcomed 16 children from the parish schools as new members of the church through the Rite of Baptism. Photo: Supplied
The community at St Peter Chanel and St Joseph the Worker parish welcomed 16 children from the parish schools as new members of the church through the Rite of Baptism. Photo: Supplied

By Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia

At the Easter Vigil this year, St Peter Chanel and St Joseph the Worker parish welcomed 16 children from the parish schools as new members of the church through the Rite of Baptism.

As the church overflowed with people for the Easter Vigil Mass, the children’s faces lit with excitement and expectation for the long-awaited sacrament.

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The children participated in a yearlong program to prepare them for baptism, though some of them had been waiting for a much longer time.

One year six student, Anita, shared that she had wanted to be baptised since kindergarten, when on first hearing the name of Jesus she felt “touched by the love of God.”

When asked what drew them to desire this sacrament, many of the children expressed a deep desire to “find a way to be closer to God and to one day be with him in heaven.”

Many students first heard about God through the school and a love for Jesus grew in their hearts as they continued to learn about God’s love for them.

Anita expressed that through St Peter Chanel Primary School, “I was introduced to the faith and it gave me the knowledge that led me to see the beauty of God’s love.”

A year three student, Erik, attributes his journey to baptism to St Peter Chanel School “helping me to learn about and practice virtue each day, I tried to do this at home and everywhere.”

“As I practiced virtue I wanted to be more like Jesus and belong to him,” he said.

In preparation for their baptism the parish and school community helped families in finding appropriate godparents for the students.

For the godparents, the journey toward baptism has also touched them in manifold ways.

Molly, a teacher at St Peter Chanel, shared that she sees her role as being a godparent, “not as a tokenistic title, it is a privilege to lead a child in their relationship with God.”

“I have the responsibility to be a model of the Catholic faith to my godchild, this is something I take seriously and know I can do through God’s help.”

For Rebecca, being asked to be godparent surprised her and saw this opportunity as “an invitation from God himself.”

Another godparent expressed, “I hope and pray that these children from our school will grow in their love for Jesus and their Catholic faith and that as godparents we help them reach heaven.”

The godparents shared that they are excited to share in their godchild’s new life and be a support in various ways through prayer, presence, and their own example, as they continue their faith journey.

While Easter was a huge milestone for these children, Sr Cecilia Joseph, principal of St Peter Chanel Primary School, reminded the students that their “journey of faith has not ended but is only just beginning.”

According to Aili, a year six student, “God now dwells in me, which changes everything” and for Anita this means that “now I am being uplifted by a community to guide and support me throughout my life. I have been given a great opportunity to receive and give so much love.”

Please pray for these children and their families as they continue their faith journey. St Peter Chanel and St Joseph the Worker pray for us!

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