I’ve baptized children before, but this was my first time in St Patrick’s Parish (at the mission church of Our Lady of the Lake). It’s really a blessing to be the instrument for a person being “born again of water and the spirit”; it is one of those moments where a priest can feel more clearly his spiritual paternity.
It was a particularly beautiful occasion for me because many members of the family who were present are Orthodox (including a relative who is an orthodox priest). Pope Benedict XVI is working hard for the full unity of the Catholics and the Orthodox (as well as other Christians) so it was great to have both “lungs” of the Church breathing together for the celebration of a sacrament like this.
I was filling in for another priest and so I wasn’t as prepared for this ecumenical situation as I’d like to be – I fear some canon law may have been tread on – but it was a very good experience overall, and I plan on reading up on Church legislation about these things.