Photos by James A. McBride
Above: Msgr. Thomas McIntyre, assisted by Father Matthew Weber, baptizes his grand-niece, Isabella Reilly, held by godfather Chris Reilly. Behind Msgr. McIntyre is father Mike Colazzo. Left: The newly-baptized with their parents and godparents, surround Msgr. McIntyre. To the left of Msgr. McIntyre, mother Maureen Shaw and godmother Cathy Caulley, hold Juliet Rose and Isabella Reilly; father Mike; and godfather Chris Reilly, Maureen’s brother. To the right of Msgr. McIntyre, Donna holds her daughter, Abigail Grace; father Brendan; and godparents Jennifer Morrow, and Michael Maroney.
On the afternoon of Aug. 17, Msgr. Thomas McIntyre baptized his three nieces in the Glassboro home of his sister.
In the winter of 2010, Msgr. McIntyre, then pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Cape May, suffered a head injury after slipping on ice. Retiring for medical reasons later that year, he moved in with his sister, Jean, who cares for him.
Earlier this year, Jean’s two pregnant daughters, Donna and Maureen, told their mother that they wanted their children baptized in the Catholic faith by their uncle, who is homebound in the Glassboro residence.
She spoke to her pastor at St. Bridget Parish, Father Matt Weber, who in turn wrote to Camden Bishop Dennis Sullivan, who granted the family’s request.
Assisted by Father Weber, and surrounded by family and Sister Nancy Butler, from Our Lady Star of the Sea, Msgr. McIntyre baptized six-week old Abigail Grace, daughter of Donna and Brendan Shaw; and four-and-a-half-month old twins Juliet Rose and Isabella Reilly, daughters of Maureen and Mike Collazo.
Since the daughters live outside the Camden Diocese (Maureen from Hamilton Township, N.J., and Donna from North Carolina), they had to receive permission from their church leaders to have the baptism in their mother’s South Jersey home.
For Jean, it was a day that will not soon be forgotten. “I can’t thank Father Weber and Bishop Sullivan enough,” she said. “I’m grateful to God.”