From the Baltimore Catechism: Where is God?
Answer: God is everywhere.

Yesterday, Francesca Rose Hysell was baptized at Holy Family Church in Hilton Head. It was a beautiful church and a very nice service.

The day was a bit hectic. Craig was in charge of running a benefit race early in the morning. He got back to his house, we showed up, we had a little brunch/lunch deal, then we all went to the church and Craig rushed off to work. Dayna didn’t have to work until later so she had a bit more time to get Frankie packed up and sent off with her other grandparents for the evening.

Joe and the kids showed up and we were trying to explain what was going to be happening later in the day. It is very difficult to talk to kids about religion when you don’t really know what they do or don’t know.

Me: We are going to church.
Dylan: What’s a church.

Oh, where to even start.

We had our luncheon of quiche, pasta salad, fruit plate, and some really fancy cake. Frankie stayed in her jammies until after she ate, because this wasn’t our first rodeo, as they say, and we weren’t going to put this baby in her beautiful white dress and THEN give her food. She is delightful and all that, but she isn’t the world’s neatest eater.

As we approached the church itself, there were lots of iconic statues. And then Morgan looked up and pointed and yelled, “There’s God.” And sure enough, there was a cross with Jesus on it. They did know what a church was, I just wasn’t using the right words.

Godparents, Dick and Aunt Lisa - and Francesca Rose

We went into the church and all went smoothly. The priest is not a native person, not really sure where he is from. I didn’t have that much trouble with his accent, but apparently I worked with enough Filipinos over the years to get both the cadence and patios sorted.

He noticed Dick wasn’t Pam, because even priests can tell that much. He didn’t seem to mind that Dick wasn’t Pam and had proper paperwork, so he was happy with us.

Then he asked us if we were all Catholic and all the adults nodded (except maybe Craig). Thank goodness he didn’t throw in a “practicing” before that Catholic or there would have been a bit of unpleasantness.

The ceremony went fine. Frankie was amused by the echo and by the mosaic window right to her left. She didn’t even mind the water poured over her head. She actually loved us all placing the sign of the cross on her forehead.

There was an awkward piece when the priest, trying to involve the other children in the ceremony, asked the boys who their favorite saints were. Both kids looked stunned and stayed silent. Aiden doesn’t like to talk to strangers or in front of people even if he knows the answer. He wasn’t biting on this bit.

After the ceremony, the priest came up to me and wanted to know where we went to church. Here I was, in church, trapped. But without batting an eye, and knowing Mom was spinning in her grave, I merely said, “Oh, we church hop and don’t belong to one church.”

So he wanted to know where, and I said, “St. Teresa and St. John” and silently thanked Aunt Babe. Last year, for her birthday, she wanted me to go to Mass. So I did. I had been to St. Teresa with Mom when she would visit, but Dick and I went to St. John for Aunt Babe’s birthday present.

So while not totally a lie, it was certainly not the entire truth, either. And yet – no lightning strike and the church and I both remain intact.

We took lots of pictures and then we dispersed to our respective houses.

I thought Frankie was a perfect angel before this. I’m sure God recognized her sweet face, her pure heart, and her simple joy and knew her to be one of his own – a child made in His image. I can’t imagine needing more. He is omniscient and surely knows those who live their lives in accordance with goodness and yet … I know this makes some people happy. I’m sure God loves us no matter what.

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