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I want to baptize my baby, what are the necessary requirements that I should meet?
- A desire to raise your child in the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic faith, seeking the truth, and living by example.
- Parents must be registered members of the parish for at least 4 months.
- A copy of your child's birth certificate.
- Prayerfully choose godparent(s) according to Diocesan guidelines.
- Parents and godparents need to attend a baptism preparation class. (No children)
Invite godparents(s) to attend the baptismal preparation class with you or at his/her church if they have not done so within the last 2 years.
More about the Sacrament:
Baptism is the greatest gift we have ever received! It is the sacrament by which we are born in the spiritual life through water and the invocation of the Holy Trinity. We receive the gift of supernatural life as children of God. We are incorporated into Christ and the Church and capacitated for the reception of the other sacraments. Jesus preached it in the Gospel of St. John when he said to Nicodemus: “amen I say to you, unless you are reborn of water and the Spirit you cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Jesus commanded his disciples to go out to all the world and baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Mt. 28:19) Jesus himself was baptized in the Jordan and in this way sanctified the waters for our baptism.
There are four principle effects of baptism: 1) We are washed clean of sin and we receive sanctifying grace. This is the remission of original sin and also of personal sins in the case of adult baptism and the sanctification and interior renewal of the human person. We call this “justification”. 2) Baptism grants us the special right to receive the spiritual help necessary for us to live a christian life. It bestows on us the gifts of the Holy Spirit. 3) In baptism we receive a permanent spiritual mark on our soul known as our baptismal character or seal which incorporates us into Christ as priests, prophets and kings and makes us living members of the Church. It is because of this seal that baptism cannot be repeated. Once baptized, forever baptized. Even if we turn away from the faith, this seal cannot be erased from our soul. We no longer belong to ourselves but to Christ who has ransomed us with his blood. 4) Lastly, baptism also removes the penalty we owe for our sin because the gift of God is total. Sadly we can lose this gift of grace after our baptism due to our personal sins that we commit, but the good Lord, knowing our weakness, made sure we would have a way back to him by giving us the sacrament of confession to help us get up again and go forward having recovered what was lost. Baptism is a great gift of God for our souls and is essential as the ordinary way to salvation. For this very reason, although the ordinary minister of baptism is the bishop, priest or deacon, in the case of extreme emergency any person can administer it as long as they use water and pour it over the head of the one to be baptized, saying their name and the words: “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” This should only be done when there is a real danger of imminent death and with the intention to do what the Church does. If a person desires baptism and is preparing for it but dies before receiving it then they are considered to have received “baptism by desire”. If they are martyred for the faith it is called “baptism of blood”. Innocent children that have been aborted and never saw the light of day are in the merciful loving hands of God our Father as the Church teaches and they will not want for their reward. We all celebrate our birthday every year and recall our coming into the world. It is a pity that often we do not know the date of our baptism so that we can celebrate our coming into eternal life with God! I pray we will know how to care for this great gift always and keep it free from the stain of sin until death, but if through weakness we lose it, we should never doubt to come back and recover it through a good confession. Congratulations to all of you for the great love God has for you in giving this marvelous gift!
In Christ, Fr. Thomas Bennett