Imagine you were best friends with a TV executive whose network broadcasts football’s “Big Game” each year, and he/she decided to give you a free, 30-second commercial spot to explain who Jesus is and why people should follow him. You’ve got this one chance to speak to tens of millions of people about Jesus, but you only have 30 seconds. What do you say?
If done correctly, your 30-second spot would deliver what can be considered the core message of the Gospel, namely, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that, in him, God has drawn near to his people to rescue, restore, and reassure us! That core message is known as the kerygma—a brief, bold proclamation about Jesus Christ designed to transform hearts and minds.
This core message, the kerygma, should be at the heart of every catechetical effort we undertake! It is the message we never grow tired of proclaiming, because it is the why of what we do and who we are as Christians.
For too long, this core message has been missing from many of our catechetical efforts. In my mind, one example is particularly alarming: infant Baptism preparation. In too many of our parishes, baptismal preparation amounts to little more than requiring parents to “jump through a hoop” to qualify for the Sacrament of Baptism. What’s missing is the kerygma that proclaims the person of Jesus Christ and invites young parents and families to be transformed by encountering him.
Thankfully, Loyola Press, in consultation with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, has developed Springs of Faith, which, because of its kerygmatic approach, is so much more than a baptismal preparation program. It is a family formation program thoughtfully created to meet the needs of young adults and families who long for a community of faith and are considering having their children baptized in the Catholic Church.
The kerygma is at the heart of every session of Springs of Faith, inviting young parents and their children to allow Jesus Christ to transform their hearts and minds.
Baptismal preparation should be so much more than preparing for a single event; it should be an invitation to new life and a new way of life. Thankfully, Springs of Faith and its kerygmatic focus is the invitation young parents so desperately need and so richly deserve.