ASH WEDNESDAY - February 26th. Mass Schedule - 8:00 am 12:00 pm Noon 6:00pm 8:00 pm (Spanish). Ashes will be distributed at all the Masses.

Sacrament of Baptism

SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

As you are seeking the baptism of your child in the Roman Catholic Church, the following guidelines are presented to help you embark upon this journey of faith with Christ and his Church.

A. The Sanctifying Role of the Church (Code of Canon Law, c. 842, 849; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213, 1263, 1265, 1267-1270)

GUIDELINES FOR BAPTISM IN THE ROMAN RITE

Through Baptism, God enables us to participate in his life in Jesus Christ and makes us his children. It is through this sacrament that we receive the Holy Spirit and become members of the People of God, of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Baptism becomes our commitment to grow in this new life and to strive to acquire spiritual maturity. By Baptism, God purifies us from sin.

Baptism is the sacrament of faith which has the Risen Christ as its source, and it is the offer of salvation for all people. Intimately linked to Confirmation and to Eucharist, Baptism is, with these two sacraments, Christian Initiation. The child is baptized in the faith of their parents, godparents and of the Church.

B. Basic Guidelines and Information for Infant (to include young children) Baptism (Code of Canon Law, cc. 867-868; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1251)

Parents are responsible for bringing their child to the Sacrament of Baptism as soon after birth as possible. Except in case of necessity, the church is the usual place of Baptism.

In order for a child to be baptized, it is necessary that the parents consent, or at least one of them, or someone legally standing in their place, and that there is reasonable hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Faith.

GODPARENTS: A person may have one or two godparents (also called sponsors); if two are chosen, one must be male and one must be female.

  • In order for someone to be eligible as a godparent, he or she must be chosen by the parents, have the ability and the intention to fulfill the role, be at least 16 years of age, be a confirmed Roman Catholic, who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist, is leading a life in harmony with the Catholic Faith and if married, must have been married in the church or had the marriage convalidated (Blessed).  Godparents are also required to take a Baptism preparation class, be registered in the parish, and attending Mass regularly for at least three months. If you are a Blessed Sacrament parishioner and would like to serve as a godparent for a child in another parish, these requirements, including the Baptism class, are still in required. Attendance is verified through the use of offertory envelopes. Even if you are unable to contribute financially, please place your empty envelope in the basket anyway as it is the only way to verify attendance. Also, if you attend mass at another parish, please put your envelope in that offertory basket as the churches all mail envelopes back to the home parish.

Godparents should be good Catholic role models for the one being baptized.

 A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community may be admitted only as a “Christian witness” (not a godparent) provided there is at least one Roman Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria. A non-baptized person cannot be a witness (Code of Canon Law, cc. 872-874; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1255).

C. Baptismal Preparation in your Parish (Code of Canon Law, c. 851; Catechism of the Catholic Church 843)

In order to respect your request for the Baptism of your child, you are invited to follow closely the stages of preparation offered below:

At Blessed Sacrament, the parents and the godparents are required to take a Baptism preparation class. This class is approximately one hour and is offered monthly (usually the 3rd Thursday) at the parish. Call the office for dates. If you are unable to attend the class in person, there is one offered online through agapecatholicministries.com but be aware that there is a charge for this online class. If the godparents are members of Blessed Sacrament, once they have completed the class and other requirements have been verified, they will receive a letter to take to Father after mass and Father will give them the official sponsor form. If they attend another parish, they need to obtain a sponsor form from that parish and submit it to our office at least 10 days prior to the Baptism.

  • If you have recently located to this Parish from another one where you were registered and attending regularly, your former Parish send a letter stating so and the three month requirement will be waived.

It is extremely important to take your faith-life seriously because, before God, you have taken on an awesome responsibility for the salvation of another—your own child! Your commitment and openness to baptismal preparation will help develop the faith-life of your child as he or she matures.

D.  Other Information (Catechism of the Catholic Church 857)

Are you living in a parish other than the one in which you wish to have your child baptized?

You are required to take your Baptismal Preparation in the parish in which you reside and then receive a testimonial letter from your Parish Priest to have your child baptized in another parish. This requirement respects the reality that pastors normally have sacramental jurisdiction only over their own parishioners. Therefore, when one seeks a sacrament outside of one’s parish, the proper pastor’s permission is necessary. Furthermore, the invitation to connect with one’s own proper parish first is founded on the hope that the faith-life of the family and of the one(s) to be baptized will be lived in community and not in isolation.

Marital Status of the parents will be clarified during the baptismal preparation process. Baptism is not denied if the parents are unmarried or not married in the Roman Catholic Church. However, there may be reason to postpone Baptism if parents are not practicing the Faith, or have no intention of living a Catholic life in harmony with the Gospel. If your status is not in harmony with the Roman Catholic understanding of sacramental marriage, please inquire as to how we may help you enter into a proper sacramental marriage or, if need be, seek a declaration of nullity by the Church.                                                  


All of the above information applies to Baptism of an infant or young child only. If you have a child to be baptized who has reached catechetical age/the age of reason (Grade 2 or 7 years), you and the child will receive different preparation. Having sufficient understanding, the preparation will now be for the full complement of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.

Those children already baptized in other Christian communities will be prepared to make a profession of faith into the Catholic Church and will receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation in the Rite of Reception into Full Communion with the Catholic Church.