Help students connect with their own Baptisms
Baptism is first and foundational. It is where it all begins for our Christian journey. And it is where our students will find their home and their purpose.
Baptism is nothing less than “the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.” Through it “we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission” (CCC, 1213).
So let’s look back at the early Church to better understand what it is to be baptized into the family of God and to hear his call to invite and welcome others to be a part of it.
From the Word
Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
■ Why is Baptism called the “door” to the other sacraments? (As “the gateway to life in the Spirit” [CCC, 1213], it must be received in order to access the others.)
■ When he began his public life, where was Jesus himself baptized and by whom? (in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist)
■ Through Baptism, we become children of God. What does that mean to you?
■ This Bible passage from the Gospel of Matthew captures what the Church calls “The Great
Commission.” What is Jesus asking us to do?
1. Remember when. Ask each student to bring in and share a photo — and any other sacramentals, such as a baptismal candle or white garment — from their Baptism day. Bring in your own, as well. These sacramentals are powerful touchpoints that help to tell the life-changing story of the day we all became Christians!
2. Celebrate! Having a classroom celebration for all of your students’ Baptism day anniversaries holds countless possibilities! Make a cake shaped like a dove — or white cupcakes, with each student’s baptismal date written in icing. Play Pictionary or Bingo using symbols of Baptism. Ask your priest or deacon to share beautiful stories about
Baptisms they have celebrated. Give students bottles of holy water. Send home an inspirational reminder to celebrate family baptismal days throughout the year. Baptism welcomes us into the Church and imprints an indelible mark on our soul. Through this first sacrament, we have become nothing less than children of God, blessed with a share in his kingdom. How will we lead each of our students to understand they belong to Jesus — and what that means for how they are called to live? An exciting year stretches before us.
Lynn Wehner is a Catholic writer, editor, speaker, and catechist who lives with her husband and their children in Connecticut.
This article was originally published in Catechist magazine, September 2019
Photo by Josh Applegate on Unsplash