Baptism

The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”

The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

  • Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
  • Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
  • White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

While in ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1284).


What are the requirements to be a Godparent?
Insofar as possible, the child to be baptized is to be given a godparent.

Only one male or one female godparent or one of each sex is to be employed.

Godparents have the following responsibilities:

  1. to present the child for baptism (along with the parents);
  2. to assist the parents in their Christian responsibilities;
  3. to represent the community of faith in which the baptism is celebrated; (1993 Vatican Ecumenical Directory, 98)
  4. to renew their own profession of the Christian faith;
  5. to help the child, by word and example, lead a Christian life and fulfill the obligations of baptism.

In view of this, a person to be admitted as a godparent must:

  1. be designated by the parents or guardians, or, in their absence, by the pastor or minister of the sacrament;
  2. have intention of performing this role;
  3. be at least sixteen years of age (unless the pastor or minister sees just cause for and exception);
  4. be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already shared Holy Communion and who leads a life in harmony with the faith and with the sponsor’s role;
  5. not be bound by any legitimately imposed canonical penalty;
  6. not be the father or mother of the child.

The pastor of the designated godparent is normally responsible for determining that the designee understands the sponsor’s role and is qualified to assume it, providing a letter of eligibility when the baptism is to be celebrated in another parish.

Through pastoral dialogue and catechetical helps, the godparents are to be prepared for their role both as faith-companion for the one to be baptized and as a support for the parents in their Christian responsibilities. They should be invited to participate in the formation opportunities (both spiritual and catechetical) offered to parents of the child to be baptized.

A member of an Oriental rite of the Catholic Church may serve as godparent for one who is baptized in the Latin rite.

An Eastern (Orthodox) Christian may be appointed godparent so long as a Catholic godparent is also present. This applies also to those who belong to churches formally judged to be equivalent to the Eastern Churches (e.g., the Polish National Catholic Church). (1993 Vatican Ecumenical Directory, 98b)

A baptized person who belongs to some other non-Catholic ecclesial community may be asked to serve not as godparent but as a Christian witness as long as a Catholic godparent is also present. (Such a person does not assume the post-baptismal responsibilities of a godparent.)

Catholics who have abandoned the Catholic faith are not to serve as Christian witnesses.

All persons with inquiries regarding Godparents for Confirmation are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss their questions with the pastor of their parish.

 

PRE-BAPTISM CLASSES

Parents seeking to have their child baptized in the Church must take a Pre-Baptism Class BEFORE the Baptism. It is customary to contact the parish three months before the child is born to register for this class.

Classes in 2018 will be offered in
our area on :

  • Monday, February 26th 7:00 PM
    Mary, Mother of Hope
  • Monday, April 2nd 7:00 PM
    St. Vincent de Paul
  • Monday, June 4th 7:00 PM
    St. Joseph the Worker
  • Monday, August 6th 7:00 PM
    St. Vincent de Paul

Call your parish office to schedule your baby's baptism.


Baptism Sponsor Form