Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Help my nationwide search for baptismal font


I'm still looking for a suitable, marble, baptismal font for use in one of my parishes.

I've had several leads; one I couldn't pursue before it was sold, another that, upon examination, seemed too damaged, and others that just didn't pan out.

How unfortunate that parishes close, or worse, clear out beautiful works of art; but wouldn't it be wonderful to have such things be put back into use? Maybe you know of a church that has closed, or cleared out beautiful stuff? If you made a call, and found out a font was lying about, unused, and let me know, that would be great!

Here's what I have in mind, if you can help:

Marble baptismal font, with a bowl approximately three feet wide and broad (i.e., a lot of traditional baptismal fonts have very small bowls, what I want is rarer), and the whole font should be about waist-high. I'd love to have the entire font--i.e., bowl and pedestal, however, I have a wooden pedestal that maybe could be married to a suitable bowl.

The color should be, of course, basically white or off-white, but if you know marble, it usually has some varied colors in it. Of course it doesn't have to be in perfect condition, but it has to be usable/repairable.

I'd be grateful for any help in spreading this around. Feel free to respond in comments, but if someone wants to give contact information more privately, use: frmartinfox@yahoo.com.


Esther said...

Aloha Fr. Fox:

I don't know of any baptismal font but thought you may want to contact the people at EWTN to let you know you are looking for one. I remember Mother Angelica used to tell Churches and people to let her know of any Catholic statues, sacramentals, etc. being disposed of. Perhaps, they will keep you in mind. Just a thought.

J.T. said...

Am meeting with a group this weekend that might have some leads.
Will advise if anything pops up.

Anonymous said...

I hear horse troff's are coming back into style. Fr. Grilliot will understand this remark. He might laugh, he might not. I will keep my eyes and ears open.

Jim Romanello

Fr. Ron Williams said...

For your blog's background, I like this color of purple a LOT better than the tacky cough syrup color you had back in Advent. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Have you contacted the Archdiocese of Boston? They were collecting things from the closed church buildings. They wanted them to go to good homes.


Father Martin Fox said...


I'm on the phone with EWTN as I type.


I put a call in to the Archdiocese of Boston today.

Kasia said...

Be sure to try the Archdiocese of Detroit too, Father, as we've had some beautiful old churches close. I will ask around.

James Straight said...

You already checked with Holy Family in Columbus, didn't you?

Curious said...

Here's a silly question that someone here might know (you who were talking about the closed churches). When a Church closes and statues and candlesticks and whatnot go to other parishes, do those parishes have to buy them from the archdiocese? Or does the archdiocese just give them away first come first served?

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Well, it's true: You can find just about anything on ebay, including but apparently not limited to
Baptismal fonts

This is an antique marble one

This is 100 years old Catholic one

Check out some more from the results of search page here

Hope the links work

Father Martin Fox said...


Yes, I'm in touch with Holy Family.


I saw that too, and checked it out. Unfortunately, it's not very big, the bowl is only about 9 inches wide inside.


I don't know what everyone does, but I know many times, they are given away, but you pay all costs of removing and shipping.

Anonymous said...

Ours is particularly beautiful..hope you find one Fr.

Jeffrey Smith said...

Did you check with the Toledo Diocese? I know there are a lot of good things in storage.

Deacon Paul said...

Hi Father,

You may want to consider having one built. We did that and it worked out very well. Plus, you can be sure it it will match the architecture/style of your church.

Anonymous said...

The Philadelphia Archdiocese maintains a warehouse for all sorts of church furnishings. I have the contact information for the person who manages the Ecclesiastical Exchange Program. Drop me a note and I'll forward you the information.

Fr. N said...

Father Fox,
This company may be a good place to look for new, used, restored.
"King Richard's Religious Artifacts Retrieval and Restoration: Antique ...
Whether you're building a new church, renovating, or simply parting with some religious supplies, please allow King Richard's the opportunity to assist you. ..."
I have met the man and sold him some things. Not sure how he became a King, but seems like a reputable and knowledgable man.

gemoftheocean said...

just out of curiosity, Father, why such a big font?

Father Martin Fox said...


I don't consider what I'm looking for so "big" -- they are not that unusual.

But the main reason is that I think it will communicate the dignity of the sacrament better.

KitBrookside said...

Hi Father - you may want to check with the Diocese of Rochester as well, as we are going through another round of clustering and closing this year, as is the Diocese of Buffalo.

I will check with some of my subversive collared friends and see what's out there.

Good luck!

MaryB said...

Father Fox

Have you contacted the Cleveland Diocese? We had 3 parishes close and merge into a brand new parish. The new parish is called Holy Spirit. There was also another church that closed, but the parishioners just split amongst other parishes.

Maybe there are fonts that are available.

I don't want to sound morbid since the closure of parishes is a sad subject, but there will be more closings in the Cleveland Diocese in the next few years. We have been assigned into parish clusters. I think each cluster expects one parish to close. They are in the process of studying each parish and their strengths and weaknesses.

Perhaps there will be fonts available in the future, if you can wait.

I hear another parish nearby is going to be closing within a year, but that might only be a rumor since I have not heard it from any offical source.

Maybe you can make arrangements with the Cleveland Diocese to be contacted when fonts become available???

What you describe actually sounds like the font in the parish I grew up which is an older church with dwindling attendance and less Catholics in that neighborhood. I'm not sure how "big" it was, but the description reminds me of how it looked.