A 10-day baby wrapped in a blue blanket and nursing a bottle of warm milk was abandoned on the side steps of a Catholic church in Wheaton Monday night, Montgomery County police reported.

"Please take good care of David James," read a note found next to the baby, whom authorities described as being in good condition. "He was born Friday, May 19, at 5:05 p.m. Put him up for adoption so he can lead a good life and have what I can't give him," the note read.

"Let him keep the Raggedy Andy (doll) for himself. I love him with all my heart but just can't keep him. Please Father I pray for him an forgive me for what I am doing. It's for his own good.This is the best thing for him and God Bless you," read the note, which was tucked inside the baby's blanket.

The child, who has dark hair and blue eyes, was found at 8:10 Monday night by Agnes and Thomas Horrigan, and Patricia Ferro as they were leaving the regularly scheduled novena services at St. Catherine Labourne Catholic Church 11801 Claridge Rd., according to police and church officials.

The child was wearing an oversized diaper, a white nightgown, with the baby's bottle propped up on his chest with a small beach towel, Agnes Horrigan and Ferro said.

Also wrapped inside the blanket were two extra Pampers diapers, Horrigan said.

"My eyes saw (the baby) but my mind wouldn't believe it," said Patricia Ferro, who has been attendint St. Catherine's for 19 years. She and the Horrigans had walked around to the little-used Veirs Mill Road side of the church when all three people saw the blue bundle at the same time.

"Maybe thre's a baby in there," Agnes Horrigan remembers her husband, a retired D.C. policeman, saying, as they rushed up to it.

Ferro then pulled the blanket back. "My God, it's a baby," she said.

"Is it alive?" Agnes Horrigan asked. When Ferro said it was, Horrigan, the mother of three children, scooped up the child and carried him into the church rectory.

The child appeared to be "all right, but a little thin, in a mother's opinion. He was half-asleep when we found him, but then he often smiled," said Horrigan, who along with Ferro cradled the baby until police arrived.

The child was taken by Montgomery County police for examination at Holy Cross Hospital. Police said medical officials told them the child was not born in a hospital, since it lacked the needle marks that would have indicated that routine blood tests had been performed.

The child was later taken to the county's foster care facility in Poolesville.

Montgomery County police request anyone with information about the child or his parents to call their youth division at 565-7728.