Baptism is the invitation to love as a daughter or son of God. That invitation is given flesh through a life lived in union with God and in solidarity with others, especially the poor and the marginalized. Our Baptism is affirmed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation and is nourished and sustained through the Eucharist.
The Sunday Eucharist is the gathering of the community and is the time for the celebration of who we are as a people dedicated
to God. For this reason, we will normally celebrate the Baptism of infants and older children during the Sunday Eucharist, when we
remember Jesus’ resurrection from death to new life and are nourished by the sharing of our lives and the breaking of the bread. Each time we gather for Eucharist, we remember what Jesus taught us through the stories of faith, and we hope that these same stories will shape the life of the newly baptized.
The life of the church continues in the life of each baptized person in the sharing of the story. It is nourished in the breaking of the
bread and is given flesh in service of others through witness and commitment. Let us be a people who proclaim through our everyday lives that we have received the fullness of God’s Spirit and that we continue to share the banquet of Christ’s sacrifice!
The Time of Year
To bring out the paschal character of baptism, it is recommended that the sacrament be celebrated during the Easter Vigil or on a Sunday, when the church commemorates the Lord’s resurrection. Rite of Baptism for Children (1972)
♦ The normative times for Baptism are as follows, in order of preference:
1. The Easter Vigil
2. Easter Sunday
3. Sundays in the Easter season
4. Sundays in Ordinary Time
♦ We realize that the date of the birth of your child will be a strong factor in determining the best time for your family, however, we ask that these preferences be followed as closely as possible, even if it means waiting a bit longer than you may have expected.
♦ Except in the case of extreme pastoral circumstance, Baptism will not be celebrated during the seasons of Advent (4 weeks
prior to Christmas) and Lent (6 weeks prior to Easter). And in the case of such circumstance, the celebration will be held outside the context of the Mass.
The Liturgical Context
. . . the faith in which the children are baptized is not the private possession of the individual family, but is the common treasure of the whole Church of Christ. Rite of Baptism for Children (1972)
♦ The preferred context for Baptism is during the Sunday Mass which you usually attend. For good pastoral reasons, other
arrangements may be made.
♦ It may be the case that more than one family will schedule Baptism on the same day at the same Mass.
Preparation for Baptism
It is of great importance that parents [and godparents] . . . should prepare to take part in the rite with understanding. They should be provided with suitable means such as books, instructions, and catechisms written for families.
Rite of Baptism for Children (1972)
♦ The preparation of parents and sponsors (godparents) will take place periodically during the Church year. Parents and sponsors will be expected to attend a one-time preparation session. Dates and times are furnished upon inquiry to the church office. Further preparation may include materials for the family to be used at home.
♦ First-time parents and sponsors, should register for the preparation session as soon as possible after the pregnancy is known. The preparation session should be viewed as part of the normal preparation for the arrival of a child.
♦ If distance prohibits sponsors from participating in the Baptismal preparation session, it is strongly advised that they avail themselves of any Baptismal preparation opportunities in their home parish.
1. Soon after a couple learns of a pregnancy, it is important to connect with the staff liaison to discuss Baptismal Preparation and attendance at a preparation session.
2. After attending the Baptism preparation session, contact the parish secretary to schedule the Baptism at a Mass. If you desire a particular priest, indicate that to the secretary. It may be the case that more than one Baptism is scheduled at the same Mass.
3. On the day of your child’s Baptism plan to arrive at least twenty minutes prior to the start of Mass. There will be reserved seats for your family and someone will review the Baptismal ceremony with you.
Requirements for Sponsors
1. One sponsor, male or female, is sufficient.
2. A sponsor must be:
◊ mature enough to undertake this responsibility
◊ fully initiated as a Catholic; i.e. have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist
◊ a practicing Catholic.
3. A sponsor is required to obtain a Sponsor Certificate from the parish where they are formally registered and mail this to the Church office at least one month prior to the date of the Baptism.