Q. I have a friend who has never been baptized. She originally came from Catholic parents who later divorced, and for some reason she was never baptized. She believes in Jesus Christ, that she is a child of God, but does not necessarily want to embrace the Catholic faith. She wants to be baptized a Christian, but does not necessarily want to join a church. She is an adult, age 40, and as a practicing Catholic I do not know what to advise her to do. Can I baptize her myself?
Dolores, via e-mail
A. Here is a reply from Father Francis Hoffman, J.C.D.:
You could baptize her yourself if she is in danger of death, but absent that urgency you should encourage her to be baptized by a priest or deacon in the Catholic Church. If she believes in Jesus Christ and wants to be baptized, she is actually hungering for a connection with the one true Church, which He founded. You should continue to work with her and answer her questions as they arise.