A Special Baptism in Raleigh

HNP Communications Around the Province

RALEIGH, N.C. – The baptism of a special young woman at St. Francis Parish appeared on the front page of The News & Observer on Easter Sunday. Camille Durfee, “a petite, youthful-looking woman with dark brown hair and a sweet smile,” was baptized during the Easter Vigil Mass. She also happens to have multiple forms of cerebral palsy, a condition that leaves her unable to control her muscles. She cannot walk, talk, eat or dress on her own.

A couple of years ago, Durfee decided that she wanted to deepen her faith experience. She and a companion visited several North Raleigh churches — Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Roman Catholic. She liked St. Francis best.

George Corrigan had the daunting task of her religious education. In the beginning, she had no real way to communicate, but she has since obtained a machine which allows her to “talk” with a computer-generated voice.

Questions were rare, the article says, but George remembered one poignant one. In a class devoted to the resurrection, Durfee asked if she will get a new body in the afterlife. George said she would, though how is a mystery.

The paper quoted George as saying, “It’s not ‘All are welcome, comma,’ it’s ‘All are welcome, period.’ “