Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Tale Of Two Baptisms

A couple of years ago we came across a piece written by Fr. Rob Carbonneau, C.P. Part of the article is the following:

[Begin Article]

"Batter Up! Baseball, Baptism, Babe Ruth, and Baltimore

Over a year ago I was looking through The Passionist. This magazine was published by Holy Cross Province from the 1940s until the early 1960s. It has a wide mix of Passionist history. The 1944 issue mentioned that Passionist Fr. Francis Murmann had died in Baltimore and that he had baptized Babe Ruth when Ruth was a youngster at St. Mary's Industrial School.

The baseball season kicks off for all teams but the Cubs and Mets - they already played in Japan - in the first week of April. What better way to celebrate the start of the season than to ponder where Fr. Murmann and Babe Ruth can lead us as we get ready to celebrate the Passionist Sesquicentennial in the U.S. in 2002.

First, with the help of Father Bill Murphy, C.P., the newly installed Passionist pastor at St. Joseph's Passionist parish in Baltimore ( and an Orioles fan) I was able to confirm more information about the baptism of Babe Ruth. My request by e-mail to the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore to date has not been answered! While baptismal information has to always be prudently respected, it is also true that most Catholic dioceses in the United States have put their records on microfilm. We thus hold in respect and prayer the following historical information.

George Herman Ruth was born on February 7, 1895. He was baptized in the parish of St. Peter the Apostle in Baltimore. (That parish is now linked with St. Martin's and St Jerome's). He was baptized by Fr. Joseph O'Brien on March 1, 1895. What most Babe Ruth fans know is that as a young boy, he was a student at St. Mary's Industrial School in 1906. It was there that he made his first communion on August 15, 1906. The record book has him listed at his first communion as a 'convert' because he was also baptized (again) on August 7, 1906, a week before his first communion, by Fr. Francis Murrmann, C.P. George Herman Ruth's confirmation took place on May 9, 1907. Patrick Fogarty is listed as his godparent. Why was Ruth baptized again? What Fr. Bill Murphy suspects is that it came time for the boys at the Industrial School to make their first communion and the baptismal certificate for Ruth was not found. So to make all things acceptable to God and Canon Law young Babe Ruth was baptized again, conditionally. And the 'convert' notation would seem to suggest he wasn't known as a practicing Catholic at that young age……….

………. So let us pray for our favorite baseball team. Let us pray for those who are orphans or abandoned. Let us pray for the Passionist presence in Baltimore. Let us pray for the Passionists as we make our way to celebrate 150 years in the United States in 2002.

Fr. Rob Carbonneau, C.P.
Historian and Director of The Passionist Historical Archives.
March 30, 2000

Please contact me at if you have any comments.

Copyright Passionist Historical Archives 2001. All rights reserved.
Permission of Archives needed for publication"

[End Article]

We obtained permission for publishing this part of this piece. The full article can be viewed at the following link:

Now that we know the story, we can fetch the documents.

Batter Up! Baseball, Baptism, Babe Ruth, and Baltimore

NEXT POSTING: Saint Peter the Apostle.

Copyright 2008 BabeRuthGenealogy

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