Ruth writes: My friend Soledade invited me to the baptism of her five-year old daughter Isabel. Soledade and her husband Avelino are from Portugal, and members of St. Helen’s Church on Dundas Street West. Many Christians have their children baptized as infants. Soledade and Avelino waited until Isabel was five years old so Soledade’s mother could come from Portugal to attend the event.
Soledade was happy that Isabel was older because her daughter will now remember this meaningful event in her life. Isabel was happy because she was able to pick a white dress with a pink bow, and a tiara – and be a princess.
Godmother Arminda helped Isabel get ready for the big event. During the ceremony, she and her husband, and Isabel’s parents promised to raise Isabel in the Catholic way.
They posed for family pictures before leaving home. Isabel’s brothers Filipe and David were baptized as babies and do not remember their big day.
The family took time for some fun.
St. Helen has masses in Portuguese but the family requested that the baptism be in English so Arminda and Isabel would understand all of it. It was fortunate for me too. Godfather Marco took his turn writing a cross with olive oil on Isabel’s forehead following the lead of the priest and then Avelino.
Soledade found the service less strict and less traditional than in Portugal but as is Portuguese tradition, gifts to Isabel were all in 20 k. gold: earrings and a necklace with angel bracelet. I felt fortunate to be a witness to such a beautiful, traditional occasion.