Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Why not a prayer for newborns?

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Sep 21, 2012

In my parish--and in virtually every Catholic parish, I think--the petitions at Sunday Mass always include a prayer for those parishioners who have died recently. I have a simple suggestion: Why not add a prayer for those who have been baptized recently as well?

Certainly it is a good thing, and our duty in charity, to pray for the deceased. At the same time, by listing their names, the parish informs us about our neighbors who have passed away. Good.

Yet at the same time there are babies being born to parishioners, and adults entering the Catholic Church. They deserve a public welcome, and it can't hurt to pray for them too. So I suggest that we list their names, and invite prayers for them as they embark on their Christian journey.

Our friends and relatives pass on, but a new generation rises up to replace them. That is the natural rhythm of life, in a family and in a parish. While providing a weekly reminder of that reality, a regular prayer for newborns might also help to counteract the unfortunate tendency to think that a church is a place for old people: a place where death is never far away and birth is long forgotten.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: feedback - Aug. 28, 2018 5:43 PM ET USA

    As a cardinal of the Church, Cupich should know that the bigger agenda, such as one's personal musings about global warming, will be lost if one has demonstrated trouble telling right from wrong about a child rape.

  • Posted by: Eric - Aug. 28, 2018 3:45 PM ET USA

    While not charmed that Archbishop Vigano chose to go public with this, rather than work with trusted American bishops first, it's still depressing. Note how NO ONE has denied the claims, all they have done is tried to smear Vigano, or deflect the issue (see above). I'm certain the pope was guided by a mistaken view of mercy, but then why seek him out for advice on bishop appointments? I just don't understand.