AS WE ENTERED the old church, I looked at the baby on the floor by the door, and my wife noticed the other one in the small casket up by the altar. We sat down, and listened to the recitation given by a woman seated somewhere among the crowd.
We had not intended to crash a baby’s funeral. We were just on a Sunday afternoon stroll around the neighborhood plaza. We saw the church open and heard things coming through that big door.
The baby the young woman is holding in the photo was on the floor, smiling at me. The young woman was seated by the door. The toddler was nearby. The dog was inside too. We entered and sat a few moments. Then we left and sat on a plaza bench across the street.
Normally, when someone dies in the neighborhood, the church bell gongs for hours. We had heard nothing for this baby’s funeral, and I’m thinking the child died before it was Baptized, meaning all bets are off. Perhaps to Hell with it or simply Purgatory. Doesn’t seem right.
Offhand, I don’t know how Catholics handle this, but I hope the baby’s getting a less-raw deal. There was no priest in sight. It appeared that the neighborhood was winging it for the child.
Hoping for the best.