BELMAR — The children came to St. Rose Roman Catholic Church on Monday with their dolls, teddy bears, a toy dog, a stuffed animal that resembled a monkey, Mickey Mouse and even that famous purple dinosaur, Barney.
However, Jack Mannion, 7, of Wall, wanted everyone to know that his christening doll did not belong to him.
"It’s not mine, it’s someone else’s, my sister’s," Jack said matter-of-factly.
Jack was among three dozen first-graders at the parish’s grammar school who were getting a lesson about the Christian sacrament of baptism, which welcomes the recipient into the Christian community.
Some children took the lesson seriously enough that they had their dolls dressed in the christening gowns they had worn as infants.
Kristin Norkus, 7, of Neptune, said she had just gotten her doll, Krista, for Christmas, so the timing of her doll’s pretend christening was ideal.
"I’ve just seen a (real) christening," Kristin said, observing that she had witnessed an actual baptism a day earlier.
Sheila Langon, the children’s teacher, has been organizing the mock christenings for 20 years as part of her first-grade class’s religious curriculum about the miracle of Easter.
Later on do they take Ken and Barbie to confession? How about last rites for a G.I. Joe injured in battle by Cobra commander?
I wonder if the Pope will attend?