By Anne Marie Amacher
BETTENDORF — As the closing hymn was sung and Father Tim Sheedy processed down the aisle at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, parishioners followed him to the gathering space for the blessing of the newly renovated baptismal font and to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the existing church building. The blessing followed the 8:30 a.m. Mass Aug. 12.
When the new gathering space was dedicated in January 1999, it included a new baptismal font made from marble that was part of the communion rail that stood at the front the church, said Fr. Sheedy, the parish’s pastor.
Although it is only 12 years old, the font had been leaking and the drainage system and pump were failing. So the fiberglass liner was replaced with a stainless steel liner. Other repairs were made and a new motor and pump for the drainage system were added. The $12,000 in repairs was paid for by contributions from parishioners and through an endowment fund.
During his homily prior to the blessing, Fr. Sheedy told those in attendance that the stainless steel liner offers “a shining reflection of your soul.”
He pointed out that as people enter the church, they dip their fingertips into the font and make the sign of the cross saying that they belong to Christ. “I am a member of the Catholic Church, a follower of the risen Lord and seek guidance of the Holy Spirit.”
Fr. Sheedy said by blessing themselves before and after Mass, people renew their baptismal promises. Bless “yourself proudly and be witnesses and imitators of Jesus.”
For the blessing he filled the aspersory (a bucket that holds the holy water) with water from the baptismal font. He then blessed the font and the people and all renewed their baptismal promises.
The event closed with a gathering sponsored by the parish’s Knights of Columbus.