• Documentation at the Parish

Preparing for the Sacrament of Baptism

The Offices of Catechesis and Evangelization and Marriage and Family Life have collaborated to develop and pilot a program for preparing families for the Sacrament of Baptism.

In a novel approach the program combines the catechesis of the Sacrament of Baptism with the preparation for the child in the home including such topics as parents as primary educators, faith development in the ‘domestic church’ and the changes that are experienced in marriage.

In preparing families for the Sacrament of Baptism the preparation team provides four interactive sessions including;


Understanding Baptism – God’s Gift of a Child

  • You will learn about…
  • The Church’s Reception of the Child and his/her membership in the Family of God.
  • The Liturgy of the Word and how God answers the many questions we have.
  •  Intercessions and the Litany of the Saints: how we are called to pray for each other and seek the support of our patron saints.

Becoming Family – Receiving the Gift of a Child

  • You will be introduced to the Catholic Church’s teachings on parents as primary educators of their children and on the family as the domestic church.


 Understanding Baptism – God’s Love for You

  • You will learn about…
  • How we are impacted by Original Sin: the loss of grace and our need for a Savior.
  • God the Holy Spirit who gives supernatural life to the soul.
  • The Anointing of your child which includes an introduction to Sacramental Signs and how these signs reveal a supernatural reality of healing and strengthening by Christ’s power.
  • The Blessing and Invocation of God over the Baptismal Water: how this calls us to God’s Plan to bring us back into communion with Him after the Original Sin. You will learn how the Sacraments bestow Sanctifying Grace:  A share in God’s Life.
  • The Renunciation of Sin and the Profession of Faith

Becoming Family – Love your Child as God does

  •  In this session, parents will be given information on parenting styles. The Catholic traditions on parenting are rich and varied and these will be explored from the research on best practices.


Understanding Baptism – Becoming a Child of God

  • You will learn about…
  • Water Baptism and the meaning of the Sign of the Water—Cleansing, Dying, and Rising—as well as the Trinitarian formula (“I baptize you in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”): entering into the Communion of Love.
  • Anointing with Chrism after Baptism which includes an understanding of the bestowal of a Sacramental Character of Christ: Priest, Prophet, and King. In addition the effects of Baptism: Forgiveness, New Creation, and Membership in the Church will be explained.
  • Clothing with a White Garment and how it signifies the dignity of new creation and how to live a “Life in Christ”:  a life of joy and peace.
  • Lighted Candle which represents the Light of Christ: the flame of faith. In this session the criteria and duties of parents and godparents that foster faith will be discussed.

Becoming Family -Creating a Loving Home for your Child

  • This session for parents will direct you towards two skill sets or behaviors that you are encouraged to integrate into your family. As the leaders of the domestic church, parents need certain skills or techniques that will assist them in creating a home where love can flourish and God’s commandments are followed.


Understanding Baptism – Prayer and Relationship with God

  • You will learn about…
  • “Ephphetha” – the prayer over your child’s ears and mouth so as to listen to God’s Word (ears) and to proclaim the faith (mouth).
  • The Lord’s Prayer and our duty to pray: having a relationship with our loving Father.  We will discuss the new relationship after Baptism: we can call God “Father.”
  • The blessing of parents and the promise of Divine Protection:
    • God assists the mother and father as the first and best teachers: being a witness.
    • Thanksgiving: always be thankful for the gifts of God.

Becoming Family – Providing a Firm Foundation for your Child

  • Raising a child can bring parents to the height of joy and the depths of despair.  How can such an innocent, cuddly baby have the power to change our lives and provoke such emotional extremes?  Because you love.  You love your children and want the best for them.  Their accomplishments bring you pride.  Their hurts make your heart ache.  Their mistakes bring you frustration and the temptation to rescue them.  This final session will address the following topics:
    • Balancing children’s needs vs. parents needs
    • Dealing with worries about children
    • Consistency in parenting style
    • Providing for needs more than wants
    • Balancing work and family


If you are interested in piloting this program PLEASE speak with Ann Lankford, Office of Catechesis and Evangelization, Jeff or Alice Heinzen, Office of Marriage and Family Life to review the curriculum.