The Sacrament of Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism was instituted by Jesus who was baptized by St. John the Baptist in the Jordan River. (Mark 1:9-11) and who told his disciples to go into the whole world and baptize the people “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). The church fulfils this injunction of Christ through Holy Baptism which 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.
If you wish to have your child baptized, please contact the Parish Office to pick up a Registration Form and Guidelines for the preparation and celebration of Baptism. Please come with the original or a copy of the child’s birth certificate. We need this to verify names and dates for the Baptismal Certificate and parish records. Original documents will be photocopied and returned to you.
Guideline for the Sacrament of Baptism
- A Roman Catholic parent (or a guardian who has the legal custody of the child) who is a member of our Parish may seek Baptism for their child in this parish community.
- To be a member of our Parish you must live within the boundaries of the parish or be a registered and practicing member of the parish for a period of at least six months prior to the date of the Baptism.
- The Church emphasizes the role of parents as the first and best teachers of their child in the ways of the faith and Christian values. During the Baptism, the parents of the child promise to do their best to raise their child in the practice of the faith. Obviously, the parents should manifest their faith by participating in the weekly Sunday Eucharist with the faith community into which their child is to be incorporated. We look for an honest and wholehearted commitment on the part of the parents.
- It is never our intention to deny Baptism to anyone. However, there may be circumstances that would lead us to suggest the postponement of the Baptism until the parents are ready to carry out the promises they must make at the Baptism ceremony.
- Your child will only be baptized into the Catholic Church if there is a reasonable expectation that you the parents will raise the children in the Church. Knowingly living in an invalid marriage (not married in the church) and knowingly defying the Catholic Church for the purpose of convenience shows a lack of faith and creates a real concern that the child will not be raised Catholic.
- Canon 868 (1) States that for an infant to be baptized licitly:
a)The parents or at least one of them or the person who legitimately takes their place must consent;
b)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 according to the prescripts of particular law after the parents have been advised about the reason.
if you are choosing not to live as a Catholic, why will you want your child baptized as a Catholic?
How can you do that, if you've rejected the faith?
Baptism is not simply an act of initiation or a blessing. It's not just a tradition. It's a very holy and sacred thing meant for believers. Canon law requires a "well-founded hope" that the children will be raised Catholic.
- Baptism initiates the baptized person into the Catholic community. Hence it is most appropriate to celebrate Baptism at a time when the community is together, which is when we come together to celebrate Eucharist.
- If you regularly go to church and intend to raise the child Catholic, there is no canonical or legal impediment to baptizing your child but, if you are not canonically married in the church; for the sake of your own soul, and so you may receive the awesome gift of the true Body and Blood of Christ worthily, we encourage you to get your marriage regularized.
- Before a child will be baptized, the parents must complete the process of preparing for the Baptism, a date and time will be fixed for the Sacrament.
- Since the Baptism is celebrated within the context of the weekend Mass, it is essential that each family arrive well before the Mass starts so that they can be instructed about what to do during the ceremony.
- The child must have at least one godparent, although two are usual - one from each sex. The godparent must be a "regularly practicing Catholic". They must also have received all three Sacraments of Initiation namely, Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. They are required to profess their faith and to expressly assume the responsibility of a godparent for the child
- Members of other Christian churches, though good Christians, may serve only as a Christian Witness at the Baptism and not as a godparent. Only the names of the godparents are recorded on the Baptism certificate.
Adults who intend to receive Baptism are admitted to the catechumenate and are brought through the various stages of the Rite of Christian Intiation for Adults (RCIA). They receive the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation at the Easter Vigil. They must register and attend RCIA classes for instructions in the faith. Each adult has a personal sponsor to assist them during their time of catechumenate and act as a witness to their reception of the sacraments of Initiation.