Christmas draws members together

CHURCHES CELEBRATE FAMILY

December 25, 1992|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Staff Writer

The Rev. William J. Watters didn't mind the high-pitche chatter of children during his Christmas message to more than 100 parishioners at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church yesterday.

He wasn't even fazed by the toddler who seemed to be training for the 2008 Olympics, sprinting up and down the aisles of the majestic church at 740 N. Calvert St. He was just happy to see parents and children celebrating the holiday.

"This is a time for families," Father Watters said as the fidgety children endured the Mass while, no doubt, thinking about xTC opening their gifts today. "Let your children be children."

There were many families on hand at the church's early Mass yesterday. Father Watters arranged the afternoon service to accommodate some members of the St. Ignatius family who would have found it difficult to drag their children to the midnight Mass starting at 9 p.m.

Other churches had early Christmas services yesterday, including St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church on Saratoga Street downtown.

Church members and visitors at St. Ignatius greeted one another with smiles and wished each other a "Merry Christmas" as they gathered to hear the pastor speak about the birth of Jesus. They exchanged handshakes, hugs and kisses.

Susan and Michael Gallagher came from Severna Park with their two young children. The couple left St. Ignatius four years ago, but their hearts are still there. It was the place for them to be yesterday, they said.

"Christmas is a special holiday. This is a special place," Mr. Gallagher said.

Their 5-year-old son Peter, meanwhile, was thinking about today's ritual of dashing to the Christmas tree to find out what Santa Claus has brought. If he got his way, he's probably playing right now with his toy electric guitar and listening to his new Rolling Stones tape.

Laura, 8, their daughter, was looking forward to getting a jewelry-making toy and new clothes.

Dennis Bauerle, a St. Ignatius parishioner, was sharing Christmas with his wife Carolyn, son Dennis Jr. and his new daughter-in-law, Julie. He said the season has helped him realize how much he appreciates them.

"Family -- it's the most important thing," Mrs. Bauerle said.

Kathleen Cahill of Lutherville joined St. Ignatius this year when she and her husband, Stephen Vicchio, learned that she was pregnant. They wanted to find a place where their baby could be baptized. She is expected to give birth in six weeks. "All the things we've been excited about all year seem to have come together this Christmas Day," said Ms. Cahill.

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