Submitted by Katie Connor
After being relegated to dust and clutter for over 40 years, the original 1897 baptismal font at St. Mary-St. Peter parish in Rome is again welcoming the very newest additions to God’s family.
With the help of a few young men from the parish, Father Sean O’Brien had the roughly 700-pound marble font moved from its lonely storage place to one of prominence. Together, he and members of the church’s maintenance staff were able to repair the disassembled font. Despite years of neglect, the baptismal font now returns to the task for which it was intended.
Parishioner Sybil Preski, whose family has been a part of the parish since the 1860s, marveled at the beauty of the font, noting how many of her family members must have been baptized in the font in the years before its removal.
Father O’Brien commented that the restoration of the baptismal font brought “together yesterday and today for a new tomorrow.” The first step in that new tomorrow was the baptism of Isaac Kubik. The Kubik family was the first to celebrate a baptism in the font in 47 years.
Surrounded by the Kubik family, the beautiful font lent its own dignity to the moment, as the sacrament of baptism bestowed grace upon a lively Isaac Joseph. Isaac’s mother, Brianna Kubik, stated, “We are very honored to have Isaac baptized into the Catholic Church with such a special piece of history at St. Peter’s. The baptismal font beautifully represents the significant amount of members it has welcomed and will continue to welcome into our parish community.”
The baptistry room, former home of the baptismal font, will also receive a new life, as it is transformed into a comfortable and elegant bride’s room and a place for small-group parish meetings.
St. Mary-St. Peter Parish is the oldest Catholic parish in the city of Rome. It currently provides the Holy Mass to area Catholics both in-person and online. More information about the faith community of St. Mary-St. Peter can be found at www.stmarysstpeters.com.
— Katie Connor is a St. Mary-St. Peter volunteer.