Catholics profess in their creed that they believe in ‘one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins’. Because of this we honor any baptism done with water and in the name of the “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’ as a valid Baptism. We believe that the act of baptism cleans the person receiving the sacrament of all their past sins, and the original sin passed down to all generations. Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation Catholics receive.
Baptism as Infants
According to Church Canon Law (#867) parents should seek baptism for their children within the first few weeks of being born: “As soon as possible after birth, even before it, they are to approach the parish priest to ask for the sacrament for their child and to be themselves prepared for it.”
If you are expecting a child in the near future you should contact the parish office soon. Our parish requires the parents to attend Jordan Conference classes. Baptisms are celebrated during the 11:15 a.m. Mass the first Sunday of the quarter (January, April (if not during lent), July, and October) or privately outside of Mass at 12:30 p.m. any Sunday at the request of the family.
A God Mother and God Father should be selected for the child who are expected to assist the parents in teaching the child its Catholic faith and be ready to help the child as they grow in faith. Godparents do not have to be present at the Baptism, in the event they can not attend for reasons like they are over seas on a military deployment, a proxy may stand in for them at the time of the Baptism. Lastly a name of a Saint should be selected for the child’s baptismal name. For a list of the most recent canonised saints the Vatican keeps a list on its website complete with biographies in English.
Baptism for Children and Adults
If you are a child who has not been baptised of an adult not yet baptised and you wish to receive the sacrament of Baptism please contact our church office. Children will most likely need to enter into PSR and receive instruction before receiving the sacrament. Adults will need to join the RCIA process in our parish.
I want to be Baptized: What if I die before I am Baptized?
Christ Himself ordered His disciples to preach the Gospel to all nations and to baptize those who accept the message of the Gospel. In His encounter with Nicodemus (John 3:1-21), Christ made it clear that baptism was necessary for salvation: “Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” For Catholics, the sacrament is not a mere formality; it is the very mark of a Christian, because it brings us into new life in Christ.
That doesn’t mean that only those who have been formally baptised can be saved. From very early on, the Church recognised that there are two other types of baptism besides the baptism of water.
Baptism of Desire: The baptism of desire applies both to those who, while wishing to be baptised, die before receiving the sacrament and “Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do His will as they know it through the dictates of conscience” (Constitution on the Church, Second Vatican Council).
Baptism of Blood: The baptism of blood is similar to the baptism of desire. It refers to the martyrdom of those believers who were killed for the faith before they had a chance to be baptized. This was a common occurrence in the early centuries of the Church, but also in later times in missionary lands. The baptism of blood has the same effects as the baptism of water.