Fr. Kenneth Doyle
Fr. Kenneth Doyle
Q — I am a 90-year-old cradle Catholic, and there is something I have always wondered about. Is there anywhere in the Scriptures that mentions when the apostles were baptized? (Indianapolis)

A — There is nothing in the Scriptures that describes the apostles having been baptized by Jesus — but of course the Gospels provide only the broad outlines of the public life of Christ and not every detail.

I think that it would be safe to assume that Jesus did baptize the Twelve. Just before his ascension, Jesus makes it clear that baptism is a basic part of becoming his disciple; in the final words of Matthew's Gospel, Jesus commissions the apostles to “go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

In John's Gospel (3:22), we read that, “after this, Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing.” So I take it as a logical conclusion that Jesus had first baptized his own apostles.

Q — What prayers does one say in silence when you first enter your seat in church? And what about after Communion? I have developed my own but am wondering if I have been missing something for all these years. (Youngstown, Ohio)

A — There is no “official” prayer a Catholic says when first entering a church, so I think it is just right that you have “developed your own.”

Speaking personally, what I do is to ask God to quiet my heart and make me more aware of his presence, his power and his peace. Then I thank him for the blessings of the day and speak to him about those for whom I have promised to pray.

I have always believed that we should converse with God as we would with any friend and that our own words serve us best.

As for praying after Communion, I try to spend some minutes in church after Mass to thank God for the gift of the Eucharist. In those moments of quiet, I often use the Prayer Before a Crucifix, which begins, “Look down upon me, good and gentle Jesus.”

Others use the “Anima Christi” prayer, which dates back to the early 14th century and starts, “Soul of Christ, sanctify me. Body of Christ, save me.”

Lately I have become aware of a simple prayer from the 20th-century saint, Padre Pio. It seems perfect for those precious moments when the eucharistic presence is nestled in our hearts and reads: “My past, O Lord, I entrust to your mercy. My present, to your love. My future, to your providence.”