Baptismal Gown

My family Baptismal gown, which was handmade by my great-great aunt over one hundred years ago, is the object that I feel connects me to not only the rest of my family but also to our shared immigration history. The gown was stitched in 1909 for my great-uncle, who was the first born of German immigrants and the first native-born American in my family. Since then, the same gown has been used to Baptize twenty-three other members of my family, two of whom later became priests, through three generations. 

When I see the gown, I think about how much my family has grown over the course of time. However, it still remains that faith and religion are a key part of our culture and we all share in a common start in our faith journey. When my great-great grandparents arrived in America, they did not have much and the birth of a child was reason to celebrate. Today, we still celebrate when we have reason to use the gown and reminisce on the humble beginnings of our American history and reflect on how much our family has grown in one hundred years.

– Michael Joyce

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more