Frankford friars make infants, families feel welcome – Catholic Philly

Father Reynaldo Frias-Santana, O.F.M.Cap. presents an toddler earlier than the altar throughout a Jan. 15 Mass celebrated on the Padre Pio Friary in Philadelphia. The friary companions with archdiocesan Catholic Social Companies to supply an array of household and parenting sources. (Picture by Gina Christian)

Just a few weeks earlier than the church celebrated Christ’s presentation within the Temple, some 100 devoted within the metropolis’s Frankford part “obtained somewhat glimpse of what Jesus, Mary and Joseph skilled,” in keeping with one Capuchin friar.

Brother Andrew McCarty and his fellow Capuchins on the Padre Pio Middle invited space households to a Jan. 15 night Mass, the place infants had been formally offered earlier than the altar and the neighborhood.

The Capuchin Franciscan order bought the previous St. Joachim Parish convent in 2016, changing the constructing right into a friary and prayer heart. Via a partnership with archdiocesan Catholic Social Companies (CSS), the middle affords parenting lessons, diaper help, actions and sources.

That very same dedication to supporting neighborhood households was mirrored within the toddler shows, mentioned Brother McCarty, noting that that custom “helps us to higher perceive our Catholic spirituality and theology by recreating the presentation within the Temple.”

Lifting an toddler earlier than the altar is an act of thanksgiving, he mentioned.

Father Reynaldo Frias-Santana, O.F.M.Cap., speaks with a father and son after a Jan. 15 Mass on the Padre Pio Friary in Philadelphia, the place space infants had been blessed and offered earlier than the altar as an indication of welcome. (Gina Christian)

“We’re thanking God for the reward of this child, and thanking God for the reward of the moms” after a secure childbirth, mentioned Brother McCarty.

The custom is a favourite amongst Hispanic Catholics, he added.

“Latino Catholicism has held onto this in a manner that Anglo Catholicism has not,” he mentioned, though he pointed to “many Anglo Catholics within the neighborhood, now of their 60s and 70s, who’ve tales of getting been offered on the altar.”

The Jan. 15 Mass invited a brand new technology to hold on and unfold the custom, as some 20 college students from Southern Connecticut State College attended the liturgy throughout an annual mission journey to the Padre Pio Middle.

“This was the primary time I’ve seen this presentation,” mentioned senior Rose Giannicchi. “You possibly can see there’s an actual neighborhood of religion, and the way robust it’s right here among the many individuals.”

Celebrant and Capuchin friar Father Reynaldo Frias-Santana — who blessed quite a few infants and toddlers on the Mass – urged these in attendance to “be absolutely current the place you might be at.”

“Be type, and be grateful,” mentioned Father Frias-Santana. “That is the one second God provides us.”

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