Newborn baby left in laundry basket at Cathedral of St. Paul

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Cathedral employee Nathan shows where the newborn baby was found

A newborn baby boy was left at the Cathedral of St. Paul Wednesday night.

According to police, a church employee found the boy in a hallway after Wednesday's 5:15 p.m. Mass around 6 p.m. He was wrapped in blankets and in a carrier.

He appeared to be healthy and was taken to Children’s Hospital. Ramsey County Child protection will take over once he’s released from the hospital.

St. Paul Police say if there’s a parent who needs medical help, she should not be scared to call 911 or go to a nearby hospital. They also want to emphasize although the baby wasn't left at a hospital, this is not a crime.

According to the Cathedral, their custodian, Nathan Leonhardt, heard a noise come from a plastic laundry basket - he found the baby naked, wrapped in a green, fleece-tied blanket. The baby's umbilical cord was cut and clamped with a binder clip.

Reverend John Ubel will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. Father Ubel named the baby, Nathan John. He also baptized the baby while they waited for police.

"I am profoundly grateful that this beautiful baby is healthy and safe and whomever dropped him off at the Cathedral felt that this was a safe place where he would receive the care he needs and deserves as a child of God." Father Ubel said.

"The newborn is currently safe and being cared for," Ramsey County officials said in a statement. "We can’t speak about any specifics of individual child protection cases due to data privacy laws. Generally speaking, however, in such cases Child Protection would open an investigation. These investigations typically establish the next steps to determine ongoing temporary care and permanency planning for the child."

Officers from the Western District of the St. Paul Police Department responded to the Cathedral Wednesday night and made this post on their Facebook:

West District Officers were sent on a call last night which touched our hearts. A newborn baby was found in a church.

These are the words from the intake nurse: "I don't often cry tears of happiness at work these days. I am completely speechless by the selfless actions of you and your officers tonight. Your kindness to our little baby speaks volumes for the wonderful men that you are. I hold police officers in very high regard and have some in my family. I cannot thank you enough for what you do every day but also for going out of your way tonight to show this little boy some love. We have the blanket covering his incubator and the giraffe in the bed with him."

We are all grateful for those that created the "Safe Place for Newborns Law".

Safe Place for newborns law

The law allows mothers to safely and anonymously give up newborns to safe places such as hospitals and urgent care facilities, or by calling 9-1-1. Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper called for increased awareness of this option following the case of an infant left alone in a church this week.

“This law is not only for infants, but also for mothers,” Piper said. “Mothers who may be very scared and unprepared to care for their newborns have safe alternatives for giving them up. This is doubly important after a baby was found yesterday at the Cathedral of St. Paul.”