The very first liturgical action in the Rite of Baptism isn’t pouring water – it is marking the one to recieve baptism with the sign of the cross – traced on the forehead. At the same time speaking the words, “I claim you for Christ…” They are powerful words, words of life and death. Words that mark a new beginning. “I claim you for Christ…” This is who you are and whose you are. Similar words mark the public ministry of the Messiah, “This is my beloved Son…”

Then off all go into the world, into the wilderness that can be this life.

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Diana Ortiz

I suspect many readers will not recognize the name in the title. She passed away at age 62 on Friday. She was an Ursuline Sister, born in Colorado, raised in New Mexico, vowed in Kentucky, and served the Ursuline Sisters in Guatemala’s western highland during the years of that country’s civil war. She was an elementary school teacher. Please take a moment to read her Washington Post obituary – it tells her story, in part.

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