What are parents asking when they want their child baptised?

Preparing for your child's baptism

Continuing in our efforts to give you an inside look at our latest titles, we have spoken to Dominican sister Hyacinthe Defos du Rau about her text Preparing for your Child’s Baptism. As well as accessibly explaining the rite itself, it contains activities and practical suggestions for enriching and renewing the faith of all those involved.

CTSCompass: Where did the idea for this title come from?

Sr Hyacinthe: “I was inspired by the parents’ need to understand what they are asking for when they wish their child to be baptised. Often adults have received little, if any, teaching on the sacraments, and this booklet tries to offer a basic understanding of baptism in a simple language, for any parent or godparent. It’s a kind of ‘everything you need to know before having your child baptised’: it tells you what baptism is, how it is celebrated, how it is lived, and how we can best prepare for it.”

CTSCompass: And it comes from your experience as a catechist?

Sr Hyacinthe: “That’s right, I am a catechist and I train catechists for the diocese of Portsmouth. I have an MA in RE and Catechesis from the Maryvale Institute. I lecture and tutor students in this field at the Maryvale Institute. I am the author of the Anchor resource which helps adults, and specifically parents, to understand, receive and introduce the sacraments to their children: Baptism, the Eucharist and Confession. www.anchoryourfaith.com

CTSCompass:: And it’s that focus on the parents and its simplicity which makes this text different?

Sr Hyacinthe: “I hope so, I have tried in a simple and accessible language, to offer a deeper introduction to the sacrament of baptism, showing its beauty and necessity. It presents Baptism as a gift of God to us, as an indelible mark and irreversible change in us which enables us to enter into the life of the Blessed Trinity and wipes sins away. As it presents the nature and rite of baptism, this booklet also offers a kerygmatic proclamation of the Catholic Faith. As this quote from the text itself explains:

‘Baptism is much more than a social or religious formality. It is a wonderful gift of New Life given to us by God through the Church to enable us to live our life to the full, here and for all eternity. You have given birth to a new human person, your child. In asking for the new birth of baptism, you are asking God to make your child his own.'”

‘Preparing for your Child’s Baptism’ is available from CTS, priced £2.50.

Of related interest:

Baptism Baptism – The purpose of this booklet is to provide an introduction to baptism in the Catholic Church, looking both at the practicalities of baptism and at its history and meaning.
Being a Godparent Being a Godparent Leaflet – The important responsibilities of the Godparent are explained and all the promises and responses they will make are included. The role of the Godparent as an example and guide in the Christian life is emphasised.
Effective Parenting Effective Parenting – This text sets out the importance of the role parents have and shows how that role must be expressed through nurturing and encouraging one’s children along a path to responsible caring adulthood.

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