Baptism Anniversaries


I’ve blogged on this topic a number of times, since before Pope Francis has been speaking of it–which has been from his first year as pope. (I suspect it was a notion for him when he was a bishop and prior to that, most likely.)

One parish school with which I was associated made baptism anniversaries more of a focus than student birthdays. I hope they still do it, several administrations later.

In our family, my wife and I each came into Catholicism by personal intention, so those sacramental anniversaries are remembered, observed, and of great importance to us. The young miss was five when she was baptized. That anniversary is observed along with her birthday and Adoption Day.

When ordinary Catholics begin observing baptism as more than a vague parental memory of an infant’s event, then we might be making movement toward a more intentional  living of the Gospel. Baptism anniversaries can be marked in any number of ways:

  • the family goes to Mass
  • the family enjoys a special meal at home or out
  • presents aren’t inappropriate
  • neither would performing some act of service

It takes some imagination.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Baptism Anniversaries

  1. Liam says:

    A cultural perspective:

    It was never something I was raised with awareness of – I only learned my baptismal date when I saw my baptismal certificate, and I do remember the date annually (St Joseph’s Day). (I can’t even be certain where it occurred: either in the long-ago demolished temporary parish rectory, or in a public elementary school a mile away that then served as the new parish’s temporary worship location – the parish had part of a school built, but not much else yet – eventually, the parish school would host Sunday Mass in the auditorium/gymnasium and daily Mass and confession/baptism in the small chapel. A proper church wasn’t built for another 25 years, by which time I was long gone.) Of course, it was in the late Baby Boom, and lots of babies were baptized together, within a month after birth. By the time my parents had me, they had run out of eligible siblings to give the honor of godparenthood to (my father’s five older siblings were far older than he was) and friends of my parents (husband was a work colleague of my father) did the honors. (I rarely saw them, because by the time I was older my parents rarely hosted their friends at our home.) When my parents had my younger brother 7 years later, my oldest sister (who was graduating high school the day my mother went into labor) and brother (2 years younger) were his godparents.

    I’ve been a sponsor for confirmation (for a dear friend in college over 35 years ago), but never a godparent, come to think of it (my parents had only one grandchild, and children raised within Catholicism were scarce on the grounds of my many close friends).

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