Proclaiming the Kerygma to Young Parents: A New Approach to Baptismal Preparation

Springs of Faith Baptism program

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.

For more information about Springs of Faith, contact your Loyola Press Educational Consultant.

About Joe Paprocki 2558 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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