What is the Sacrament of Baptism?
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:18-20
We joyfully celebrate the birth of a child and the call to be reborn in baptism. Jesus himself commanded his apostles, as he ascended into heaven, to baptize all peoples, and to teach them all that he had taught. Therefore, every person is called to be baptized! However, in choosing to have your child baptized you are also choosing the responsibility to teach them all that Jesus has taught us, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:20
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: ‘Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word’ CCC #1213.
How Can I Get My Child Baptized?
1. Baptism entails Faith: The Child must be raised in the Catholic faith. To ensure this, at least one parent must be a Catholic in good standings. Parents living a public life contrary to the Gospel, i.e. living together outside of a valid marriage, are consciously living in a state of public sin. Living as such, poses a serious obstacle to the child’s development in faith and is grounds for delaying the baptism. Canon Law states: “There must be a founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the catholic religion; if such hope is altogether lacking, the baptism is to be delayed” Can. 868.2
You must be registered in the parish, please call the office to schedule a time to register if you are not registered.
2. Class: Plan the Baptism and to help teach the Catholic faith to one’s own children, parents are required to participate in a baptism preparation class before the actual baptism. Call or Email to set up a time to meet with Fr. King.
Note: Parents must attend class every time they get a child baptized.
3. Age: A Child should be baptized within the “first few weeks of birth” Can. 867; however a child, before the age of reason, can be baptized at anytime. We encourage baptism anywhere between 1-6 months. Baptism of older children is allow up to the age of reason.
4. Name: A saint’s name should be given to the child at baptism. “Parents…are to take care that a name foreign to Christian sensibility is not given” Can. 855, e.g. Jezebel, Lucifer, would not be good names, due to their evil association in the Bible. Please see the link listing the various saints. http://www.catholic.org/saints/stindex.php
5. Godparents: A godparent must be the following: at least 16 years old, Baptized, have received 1st Holy Communion, Confirmed, and living out the Catholic faith with daily prayer, weekly Sunday Mass, regular confession, etc.
To certify that the prospective godparent is practicing their Catholic faith: a Sacrament Permission Form must be filled out by their priest.
Note: Christians who are not Catholic and yet wish to participate in the baptism with the Godparents are called “Christian Witnesses”. They are welcomed.