Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2023.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Paul Janowiak


This thesis is part of the liturgical inculturation process that has been taking place in the local Church of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the 1960s, one of whose treasured expressions is the Roman Missal for the Dioceses of Zaïre, an inculturated ritual of Mass. In this work, I aim to contribute to extending the special rite for the Dioceses of Zaïre to include the celebration of infant Baptism. I use a hermeneutical method and an anthropological model of contextual theology to interpret and analyze the foundations of the Roman Rite for the Dioceses of Zaire, the Church’s doctrine of infant Baptism, and local Congolese customs surrounding the birth of a child, to develop a theological-liturgical basis for a Congolese inculturated infant Baptism Rite. infant Baptism and the reception of a newborn child in Congolese culture engage the whole community. The Baptism of a child is a celebration that reconnects the community to nature, its ancestors, and to God. It marks a renewal of the whole Christian community.

Available for download on Saturday, August 09, 2025