Last night was my friend's baptism and confirmation. I really don't think I have ever been prouder of someone who isn't a member of my immediate family. Her bravery and faith were breathtaking. She never wants to be the center of attention, but elected to do a full immersion baptism (betcha didn't know we Catholics even did that... I didn't!). It's unusual enough that when Father invited her, me, her family and friends to proceed to the baptismal font, he also invited the entire congregation to gather around as well. (Then he joked that he'd try not to fall in with her.)
She wore a bathing suit covered by a short robe, which she kept on as she knelt in the font. Her family was there, including her two little boys, her in-laws, and her sister; as her sponsor, I stood by her side. The rest of the RCIA candidates and catechists watched, along with a few hundred other parishioners, a deacon, several altar servers. Can you imagine the strength it took, to decide to do this, to want to do this? It was a privilege to observe it, and even more so to have my own small role to play in it.
After it was over she beamed with the joy of it, and the relief; her four-year-old piped, "Mommy, I am so proud of you!" and we all smiled because we were too. The rest of the Mass passed by in a rush and afterward, it seemed that everyone who'd been in the pews stopped to congratulate her and to welcome her. It's an Easter I won't easily forget.