A Message from Fr. David – January 9, 2022


We have received official notice from the Springfield Board of Education that their use of the St. James School will officially end on January 15, 2022. Working with Mrs. Rachel Goldberg, Superintendent, Mr. Michael Plias, Walton Principal, and Mr. Dave Walker, Facilities Manager for Springfield Schools, has been a pleasure. The St. James community is grateful for the opportunity to temporarily lease our school. A big thanks to the teachers, staff, and most especially, the students for their presence among us these past few months. The entire Walton School community is in our prayers as they return to their school building.


The story is told about the baptism of King Aengus by St. Patrick in the middle of the fifth century. Some time during the rite, St. Patrick leaned on his sharp-pointed staff and inadvertently stabbed the king’s foot. After the baptism was over, St. Patrick looked down at all the blood realizing what he had done, he begged the king’s forgiveness. “Why did you suffer this pain in silence?”, the Saint wanted to know. The king replied, “I thought it was part of the ritual.”

Like King Aengus, we, too, may feel limited in our own understanding of the significance of baptism.

It may be that we’ve witnessed or participated in baptism, going through the motions as a parent, god-parent, family member or friend. When it comes to baptism – we may not be familiar or understand how Baptism conferred, never mind what, where, and when.

This weekend, the Church provides us with an opportunity to explore the significance of the most primordial sacrament of the Church, the Sacrament of Baptism.

Friends, Baptism is about belonging to God!

To grasp the full meaning of this is to understand something really decisive about Christianity. You see, Christianity is not primarily about becoming a good person…or doing the right thing…or having a heart of gold…because anybody – an atheist, a Muslim, a Jew, a non-believer – could be and should be a good person and possess a heart of gold. And mind you, I’m not bad-mouthing it. I hope that we’re all nice people with hearts of gold. I hope we all do the right thing.

But see, none of that is distinctive to Christianity.

Christianity’s primary concern is about belonging to God and living out of that space. What we do and how we act should flow from this reality!

So, as we consider the gift of Baptism in our lives, think about this: To whom do you belong? To God or to the world?

Quote of the Week

Peoples of every nation, come and receive the immortality given in Baptism. . . . Do you wish to know how to do this? By water and the Holy Spirit. This is to say, by the water through which we are born again and given life, and by the Spirit who is the Comforter sent for your sake to make you a child of God.

Third-century Homily