Today we had our thirtieth baptism this year in the parish and there are plenty more on the way! We try to offer individual baptisms to our parishioners. I know there is some debate about this. Generally parents prefer the more familial nature of an individual baptism. For me it's a practical thing: in my first parish we had baptisms once a month and they were sometimes quite chaotic. It does, however, make for quite a busy day.
Today we were particularly busy because the 11.30 was one of our three 'Presentation Masses' for the First Communion classes. At previous Masses the children have received a Bible and a Rosary. Today they received a Crucifix.
We also had quite a few Confessions today which is always gratifying. The Church now explicitly encourages making the sacrament available during Mass and we have found sitting in the confessional on Sundays a very effective way of promoting confessions.
There were two guests for lunch - one a young man considering his vocation and the other a retired Anglican vicar. Along with our parish sister and one of this year's candidates they formed quite a combination.
After the baptisms I had to collate the candidates' paperwork in order to drop it off this evening at Archbishop's House in time for the Bishop to digest it before the interviews on 10th May. Fortunately I'm not on the evening Mass but it does mean I won't be available for Confessions. Later we have a presentation on the Way of St James for our young adults' group.