The archbishop apologized for the "human error" that led to the disruption of the sacramental life of some of the faithful and pledged to rectify the situation.

Even though it felt like little had changed, Father Hood knows that, sacramentally, he is a whole new person now than he was at the beginning of August. Catholic News Service is a leading agency for religious news, with the mission to report fully, fairly and freely on the involvement of the church in the world today. “It meant I wasn’t baptized, and I hadn’t received any of my other sacraments – first Communion, confirmation or ordination to the diaconate or the priesthood.”. "God uses individuals to communicate the grace that the sacraments offer -- in this instance, the sanctifying grace that baptism offers.

While everything is back to “normal,” Father Hood said he knows that as a young priest, this is a story he’ll carry for the rest of his – admittedly brand-new – priesthood.
Join our Facebook discussion group, moderated by America’s writers and editors.]. We have recently relaunched the commenting experience at America and are aiming for a more focused commenting experience with better moderation by opening comments on a select number of articles each day. A graduate of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Father Hood said he was shocked when he learned the consequences, and immediately reached out to the archdiocese, which worked quickly to remedy the situation. The parishes of those affected will also be reaching out. Now, the archdiocese is attempting to contact anyone else who might have been invalidly baptized by Deacon Springer, who served at St. Anastasia from 1986 to 1999, or who received invalid sacraments from Father Hood, who served at Divine Child Parish in Dearborn from July 1, 2017, to July 1, 2020, and since then at St. Lawrence. Before you can comment, you need to update your profile to include your first and last name, as required in our. It was an alienating sense that even though I was following the Lord, I wasn't a Christian, and I wasn't a priest and I wasn't a deacon," he told the Detroit Catholic, the online news outlet of the Archdiocese of Detroit. "To know of his pastoral care for me, for my vocation, was a huge grace from the very beginning.". ", "We can be assured that all those who approached Father Hood, in good faith, to receive the sacraments did not walk away empty-handed," Archbishop Vigneron wrote.

We ask readers to log in so that we can recognize you as a registered user and give you unrestricted access to our website. ", "We can be assured that all those who approached Father Hood, in good faith, to receive the sacraments did not walk away empty-handed," Archbishop Vigneron wrote. You can either click on the link in your confirmation email or simply re-enter your email address below to confirm it. "There was definitely shock and sadness at finding out 30 years later that I was never baptized. this helps us promote a safe and accountable online community, and allows us to update you when other commenters reply to your posts. You should see a message at the top of the reloaded page confirming that your feedback has been received. Detroit Archdiocese unveils 'Unleash the Gospel' missionary movement, Detroit archdiocese cancels sporting events on Sundays, Detroit Archdiocese to shift to 'family of parishes' over next two years. Because the sacraments of confirmation and holy orders can only be conferred upon validly baptized Catholics, Father Hood was "devastated" to learn that not only was he not baptized or confirmed, but he also was not a validly ordained priest. Site by Glass Canvas. Your source for jobs, books, retreats, and much more. "Because the sacraments actually bring about an effect, we have to be very precise in both the words, the form, and the matter, the objects, that we use. Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions. It was founded in 1920 by the United States bishops. Please visit our membership page to learn how you can invest in our work by subscribing to the magazine or making a donation. "We can't use Mountain Dew or milk instead of water, and we can't use other words, like 'I baptize in the name of the Creator ...' or 'We baptize ...' instead of the words the church gives us.".

[Want to discuss politics with other America readers? "The archbishop called me, and I could tell he was even more concerned about it than I was, and I was very concerned about it," Father Hood said. Note that if the article is from a wire service such as Catholic News Service, Religion News Service, or the Associated Press, we will not have direct contact information for the author. Although there had been questions about the altered formula, the Vatican's doctrinal note put all confusion to rest. It was an alienating sense that even though I was following the Lord, I wasn't a Christian, and I wasn't a priest and I wasn't a deacon," he told the Detroit Catholic, the online news outlet of the Archdiocese of Detroit. So, he reached out to a professor at the seminary, a canon lawyer and the archdiocesan chancellor. [Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world.

Jesus’ instructions were to "baptise in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit", so these words are said during a baptism.

Then the celebrant says: God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin, given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and welcomed you into his holy people.

If you login and register your print subscription number with your account, you’ll have unlimited access to the website. Since you’re a frequent reader of our website, we want to be able to share even more great, As a frequent reader of our website, you know how important, Michael Stechschulte - Catholic News Service, Interview: Father Matt Hood, the priest who discovered he was invalidly baptized (and ordained), recently relaunched the commenting experience. Deacon Springer attempted to baptize him using the words, "We baptize you ..." instead of the church's prescribed formula. To know of his pastoral care for me, for my vocation, was a huge grace from the very beginning.”. I think there might have been mistakes in terms of formation and understanding of the sacraments. We don’t have comments turned on everywhere anymore. On Aug. 9, he was validly baptized, confirmed and received the Eucharist, and after a week on retreat, he was ordained a transitional deacon and a priest two days later on Aug. 17. Any experience of the sacraments, even if they were celebrated invalidly, God was still active in some mysterious way and God still honors the dispositions of those who were there in some way," Father Hood said.

Luke 1:76 Thus, too, does the angel, the witness of baptism, make the paths straight for the Holy Spirit, who is about to come upon us, by the washing away of sins, which faith, sealed in (the name of) the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, obtains. "It is always a personal act of the church when a sacrament is conferred," the priest said. Father Matthew Hood, associate pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Utica, contacted the Archdiocese of Detroit after discovering that his own baptism, captured on video in …

"The parishes where Father Hood has been assigned -- Divine Child in Dearborn and St. Lawrence in Utica -- will be working with the archdiocese to contact those who sought out the sacraments with Father Hood, so that each individual's circumstance may be examined and rectified," the archbishop said. “At the beginning of the COVID quarantine, the archbishop talked about how there are special graces in these moments that we can’t expect,” Father Hood said. "When someone is baptized, it's not just a symbol or recognition of something that's already happened. Copyright © 2020 America Press Inc. | All Rights Reserved. "Because the sacraments actually bring about an effect, we have to be very precise in both the words, the form, and the matter, the objects, that we use. After all, for three years, he thought he was a priest. Although the priest has long had an interest in the sacrament of baptism, it wasn’t until he watched the video in April that alarm bells began to go off. As a consequence of the invalid baptism, Father Hood lacked the ability to confer most sacraments since he thought he was ordained in 2017, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said in an Aug. 22 letter to Catholics in the archdiocese. If baptism is by immersion, the mother or father (godmother of godfather) lifts the child out of the font. "If someone was baptized by Father Matthew, they should have no doubt their baptism was valid.".

Although Father Hood was not able to validly perform some marriages, celebrate Mass, grant absolution, administer confirmation or anoint the sick, any baptisms he performed are presumed valid, since a priest is not required to baptize so long as the correct formula, matter and intention are present, said Father Stephen Pullis, director of evangelization and missionary discipleship for the archdiocese. "As a priest, I want to be able to reach out to them and tell them this is something that's very strange and probably painful, but I've gone through this as well, and I want to help you to remediate this problem so we can be certain you've received the grace of the sacraments," he said. “The archbishop called me, and I could tell he was even more concerned about it than I was, and I was very concerned. On Aug. 6, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a note clarifying that baptisms using an improper formula -- namely, those using the phrase "We baptize you ..." instead of the church's ancient formula, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," are not valid. “It’s such a strange circumstance, because it felt like nothing had changed.

While he might not have been a priest for the past three years--or even a Catholic, for that matter--that doesn't mean God was silent or absent, he added.

We do not simply submit because someone must rule. "We can't use Mountain Dew or milk instead of water, and we can't use other words, like 'I baptize in the name of the Creator ...' or 'We baptize ...' instead of the words the church gives us.". If you have a message for the author, we will do our best to pass it along.


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