Catholic Family

This photo was submitted by Hanna U., one of many members of the Milwaukee Catholic Mamas Facebook group to submit photos and a brief description about why the sacramental garment shown is special to their family. Hanna U.’s description: My mom’s wedding dress turned into a baptismal gown. My two boys and godson have been baptized in it and my youngest was baptized in it.

There are no more important moments in our lives than the sacraments.

As the Catechism reminds us: “Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony. The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith.” (CCC 1210)

Special moments are a time for special garments. When we were expecting our first child, I went online to buy a linen baptismal gown from Ireland, where many of my ancestors are from. The sentimental part of me, heightened by those pregnancy hormones, was excited at the thought that this garment could be the beginning of a tradition for our family — an heirloom to be passed from our son to his son, stitching future generations together in the beautiful faith we hoped to give them. When my son received his First Eucharist, he wore the tie that his great-grandfather wore on his wedding day. My eldest daughter wore the veil from my wedding to her father — shortened, with one of the appliques from my wedding dress sewn on — when she received Jesus for the first time. We have set all of these items aside for our other children, and if God wills it, our future grandchildren.

For many members of the Milwaukee Catholic Mamas Facebook group, heirloom garments are a well-established tradition. Some of them shared photos and stories of theirs with us – scroll down to see them.

Submitted by Zulma M. (two photos) — My godparents sent me my First Communion dress from Bogotá, Colombia, since they weren’t able to travel at the time. And now my daughter will be wearing the same dress this Sunday for hers.

Submitted by Mary L. (two photos) — My daughter (now 27 years old) wearing the baptismal gown worn by myself, my brothers and cousins. Names and dates are embroidered around the hem of the gown.

Submitted by Monica C. — My granddaughter wearing my daughter’s First Communion dress.

Submitted by Annaliese K. — (three photo descriptions) My grandfather was born in 1924. He wore his baptismal gown. Seven of his children wore it and most of his grandkids and now great-grandkids have worn his baptismal gown, cape and hat. This gown is at least 98 years old. My first photo includes my son with his grandpa, Robert Gesell, who has since passed. The second includes my mom who wore it and my middle child, Magdalene Grace. The third shows Camilla Rose in her COVID baptism.

Submitted by Krissy A. — (two photos) First Communion dress made from my wedding dress. I also saved some of the dress to have a stole made if one of my five boys becomes a priest. 

Submitted by Ann A. — My daughter wore my wedding veil for her First Holy Communion.

Submitted by Elizabeth B. — (two photos) My daughter, wearing the same First Communion dress my mom, my aunts, my sister and I all wore. My youngest daughter is wearing the same dress. It’s 60-plus years old. 

Submitted by Megan S. — Holland wore my beloved late mother-in-law’s wedding veil for her First Communion last year. 

Submitted by Hilary C. — (two photos) My dad holding my son in the baptismal outfit he was baptized in. All of my brothers and nephews wore it as well. The outfit is about 60 years old. 

Submitted by Hanna U. — (three photos) My mom’s wedding dress turned into a baptismal gown. My two boys and godson have been baptized in it and my youngest was Baptized in it. 

Submitted by Christine T. — We made my daughter’s First Communion dress from my wedding dress material. She wore my sister/her godmother’s pearl earrings, and the shawl her godmother crocheted for her wedding.

Submitted by Christine T. — My daughters wore the baptismal gown my sister and I wore, with an overlay my mother-in-law bought in Italy during her first pregnancy. 

Submitted by Therese M. — My daughter, Alexandra, wearing the baptismal gown my grandmother bought. My four siblings and I were all baptized in it as well as my four children. It was bought in 1960. 

Submitted by Donna B. — My grandson, Samuel, wearing the baptismal gown worn by my daughter and I. 

Submitted by Katie S. — My daughter in her baptismal gown made from her great-grandmother’s wedding dress. Her grandpa, me and her brothers have also worn it, along with countless other family members spanning three generations. 

Submitted by Caitlin T. — This baptismal gown was worn by my great-grandfather and is 100-plus years old. It was very special that my children we able to be baptized in it as well. 

Submitted by Claire A. — This is a picture of my youngest daughter, Elise, in the same baptismal gown that her two older sisters wore, as well as myself and my siblings. It was made and embroidered by my godmother 36 years ago. I’ve now passed it down to my niece, my goddaughter. Each time I pressed the dress for my daughters or my niece, I thought of my own mom doing the same. It makes the most important day even more special. 

Submitted by Sheri B. — This is our seventh child wearing the same baptismal gown that his dad (my husband) wore. It was made by my husband’s maternal grandmother and has been worn by almost every descendant since then. On the box, we have a list of the babies’ names and dates of Baptism. 

Submitted by Holly C. — My daughter is wearing my wedding dress and veil for her First Communion. 

Submitted by Ellen A. — Our son wore the exact suit and tie that my husband wore for his First Communion 32 years ago. 

Submitted by Katie K. . — My daughter, wearing the same gown my two sons wore and I wore when I was baptized. 

Submitted by Kimberly L. . — Here is my youngest wearing a baptismal gown that is more than 100 years old. It was worn by countless family members over the years but specifically both his siblings, myself, my mother and my grandfather who, if I remember correctly, was the first or second one to wear the gown. 

Submitted by Nicole S. — Twenty-seven years later to the day, my daughter is getting her First Communion at the same church I had mine. 

Submitted by MacKenzie M. — My daughter wearing the baptismal gown my mom made using her wedding gown. All three of my daughters have worn it on their Baptism day. 

Submitted by Danielle C. — My mother-in-law’s wedding gown made into a baptismal gown for my daughter.

Submitted by Stephanie C. — This is my oldest and middle daughter wearing my veil and tiara from my wedding. Our youngest daughter will wear the same thing; she is in kindergarten. 

Submitted by Jana H. — The dress I wore, now on my daughter. 

Submitted by Megan R. — My daughter’s baptismal gown was made from her great-grandmother’s wedding dress.