A new catechetical series of stories on the Catholic sacraments by our partner Catholic News Service begins with the first sacrament of initiation into the Christian community, baptism.

This sacrament “grafts” believers “as a living member onto Christ and his church,” as Pope Francis has said, and marks the beginning of a life of faith, not the end.

Why baptism is no mere formality
Baptized Christians celebrate the rewards of life in Christ’s living body. But they also must ensure that the faith community actually is “a gathering of friends” and “companions” for others who experience dark times.

Celebrating baptismal days each year affirms life of faith
Baptism is our church birthday, when we were born into the light of Christ. Celebrating it enables us “to pass on to future generations the meaning of life,” as Pope Francis says.

Let the children come to me
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me,” but he calls us all, whatever our age at baptism, to live a life of faith. Baptism of one’s “household” in the Scriptures supports the traditional practice of infant baptism.