Green Bay parish’s new baptismal font has historic design

By Editor

Families welcome addition to church

GREEN BAY — A new baptismal font featuring a historic design was recently installed at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. The 10,000-pound granite baptistry, first used the weekend of Dec. 17-18, is modeled after the ancient baptismal pool from the fifth century church of St. John the Evangelist, located near Istanbul, Turkey (ancient Constantinople).

The previous baptismal font at the church was a small structure located outside of the church entrance. A new mission statement, as part of the Advancing the Mission campaign, called for a new font, said Fr. Paul Demuth, pastor.

The planning process represented a grand collaboration, he added. Paul Witek, who served as the architect for the project, chaired the planning committee, which also included Fr. Demuth, Dr. Tom Florack, Dr. Brian Skaletski and Cinde Becker. Carved Stone Creations of Kaukauna built the baptistry.

Fr. Paul Demuth, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Green Bay, pours holy water on the head of Harper Claire Liebmann, daughter of Bret and Joey Liebmann, during her baptism Dec. 27. The parish installed a new baptistry, which includes an immersion font for adult baptisms and the upper baptismal pool for infant baptisms, in early December. (Sam Lucero | The Compass)

Nine chunks of granite were placed piece by piece in the church by forklift. The entrance of the church was moved out six feet to accommodate the new font. The location provides a community atmosphere for baptisms celebrated during the liturgy, said Fr. Demuth.

Previously when baptisms were celebrated at Mass at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a bowl was set up in the church. Fr. Demuth also pointed out that the church now has a moveable camera, so baptisms will be shown on the video screen for viewing by those sitting near the front.

Stacie Keller, 12, was the first to be baptized in the adult baptistry. Infant baptisms are celebrated by lowering the child into the upper baptismal pool.

“Parishioners’ reactions have been very positive,” said Fr. Demuth. He added that the change in the entrance provides a very welcoming experience at the church.

“(The entrance) turned out just wonderfully,” he said. “It gives a sense of three sets of doors welcoming people in for worship.”