Pastoral Care Regarding the Vatican’s Note on Baptism
On August 6, 2020, the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a response to questions regarding the validity of baptisms in which the words used by the priest or deacon are different than those in the approved liturgical text. Specifically, to say, “We baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” does not convey the Sacrament of baptism. Rather, ministers are to allow Jesus to speak through them and say, “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
The release of the note has brought to light the fact that a deacon of the Archdiocese of Detroit, Deacon Mark Springer, used an invalid formula for baptism while he was assigned to minister at St. Anastasia Parish in Troy. The Archdiocese of Detroit and the parish are working to contact the people Deacon Springer attempted to baptize at St. Anastasia from 1986 – 1999.
One individual Deacon Springer attempted to baptize was Father Matthew Hood, assigned to Divine Child in Dearborn from 2017 to June of this year and now assigned to St. Lawrence in Utica. Since other sacraments cannot be validly received in the soul without valid baptism, Father Hood was not validly ordained a priest and was limited in his ability to celebrate the sacraments.
If you or a loved one sought baptism from Deacon Springer or other sacraments from Father Hood, please visit aod.org/sacramentsupdate and fill out the form at the bottom of the page. You will be contacted shortly to discuss and remedy your situation.
We also encourage all the faithful to visit aod.org/sacramentsupdate to learn more about this situation. The page includes a letter to the faithful from Archbishop Vigneron, a set of frequently asked questions and a form for those who have specific concerns about their sacraments to request a phone call from a priest.