On Dec. 2, Redemptorist Father Richard Thibodeau, pastor of St. Mary’s Assumption Church, blessed a new baptismal font commissioned by anonymous donors and crafted in Italy. The font mirrors the 1858 church’s German baroque style and incorporates numerous elements of its architecture. For example, the Carrera marble used in the base is from the same quarry as the holy water fonts flanking St. Mary’s main entrance; the relief around the bowl repeats the acanthus leaf motif of the reredos (decorative screen) behind the main altar, pulpit brackets, column capitals and rib vaulting; and the swirling silhouette of the base’s four “feet” follows the lines of church pews. The baptismal font’s octagonal cover, carved out of lindenwood, is similar in color to columns inside the church and mimics St. Mary’s eight-sided, star decked church tower. Although the cross above the church tower was destroyed by lightning in 2009, the cross atop the font recalls its original appearance high above the streets of the Irish Channel. The font was the collaboration between King Richard’s Liturgical Design and Contracting of Atlanta, Dallas and Los Angeles and the donors. Father Thibodeau said it was “by divine providence” that St. Mary’s Assumption should receive and bless its new font on the first Sunday of the new liturgical year. “We hope that this baptismal font is more than just a magnificent liturgical piece in a magnificently beautiful church, but that (it) reminds all of us of our own baptism, how each one of us in some vaunted time was introduced to the tremendous loving presence of God as exhibited in the faith community,” he said.