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Student baptised on York campus
03 June 2013

On Sunday 2nd June 2013 - observed in England and Wales as the feast of Corpus Christi - a student at the University of York received the Sacraments of Initiation.

As previously reported on this website, over recent months Swedish-born Richard Hedlund has been preparing for this important step.

With permission of the local parish Richard, who is a postgraduate student of law, has been meeting regularly to explore the Christian faith at the University Chaplaincy where the Carmelite friars, at the invitation of Middlesbrough Diocese, serve the Catholic Chaplaincy to the University of York

Ordinarily candidates for baptism would receive the 'Sacraments of Christian Initiation' at Easter, but since the Chaplaincy does not operate fully during the university holidays it was decided to postpone Richard's baptism until a time when he could be supported in prayer by the community of university students, staff and alumni who worship in a lecture-room on campus during term-time.

Richard Hedlund and his godmother Marina preparing for
the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.

Richard's baptism was carried out by Carmelite friar Gerard Walsh, O.Carm., who has been guiding Richard in his prayer and study of the catechism. Gerard was ordained deacon a few months ago, and this was the first baptism he has conducted. Richard's godfather was a Lay Carmelite and honorary fellow of the university, Johan Bergström-Allen.

On behalf of the Bishop of Middlesbrough the Sacrament of Confirmation was conferred on Richard by Fr. Antony Lester, O.Carm., Catholic Chaplain to the University of York. In his homily, Father Antony said that whilst the baptism of a child is always a wonderful thing, the baptism of an adult is always an awesome thing because it shows a mature person's free response to the invitation of Jesus Christ to follow him.

Richard receiving Holy Communion for the first time.

Left-right: Johan (godfather); Fr. Tony (Chaplain); Richard (candidate);
Marina (godmother); Br. Gerard (Assistant Chaplain)

After the Mass a celebratory barbecue was held at the nearby More House Catholic Chaplaincy.

Students from various different Christian traditions
came together to celebrate at More House.

Students and staff making the most of the sunshine.

Many congratulations to Richard on his formal entry into the Church community.