"To understand the significance of the sacrament of Baptism is to grasp the essence of the life, the mission and the dignity of the Christian. In order to reflect on the necessity for Christians today of a 'renewed appreciation of Baptism as the basis of Christian living' (Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 41), the Pontifical Council for the Laity devoted its seventeenth plenary assembly (27-31 October 1997) to the theme: 'Being Christians on the threshold of the third millennium'.
In our dechristianized society, marked by the fragmentation of human experience, we have to go back to the roots of our Baptism. It is our responsability to revive the consciousness of the event of our Baptism wich, gathering us in unity, makes Christ present in history, in space, in time. We are called to mature in the faith which alone can reconstitute human experience, and make us capable of daring undertakings.
The talks given during our plenary assembly trace out a possible itinerary towards this goal. We offer them to our readers, trusting that they too will find here food for meditation and encouragement to go forward in rediscovery of the gift of Baptism."
From the preface, James Francis Card. Stafford, President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity
Rediscovering Baptism, Proceedings of the 17th Plenary Assembly, 27-31 October 1997 (€6) [sold out]. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1998