Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism is the gateway to the Christian Life, Jesus said: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 28:19). As pope Benedict puts it: “the baptism that Jesus’ disciples have been administering since he spoke those words is an entrance into the master’s own baptism – into the reality that he anticipated by means of it. That is the way to become a Christian”:
Baptism, as the first of the sacraments of initiation “is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to the life in the Spirit, and the doorway which gives access to the other sacraments.” Through Baptism a person is freed from sin and begins a faith relationship with the Triune God, being reborn as a child of God. One becomes a member of the Body of Christ – the Church, so that he or she can take on the mission of Christ and the Church to spread the Good News of the Kingdom. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1213.)
A. The Goals of Infant/Children Baptismal Preparation are:
To provide catechesis based on the above understanding of Baptism, and also an understanding of the Baptismal Rite and its symbols.
To provide a positive experience of the parish community for the parents and the family.
To provide teaching and witness by lay catechists on the duties and opportunities in Catholic parenting.
B. Requirements for participation in Baptismal Preparation:
The infant must be unbaptized. (The Code of Canon Law, Can. 864. See Appendix, page 16 for full quote of the canons indicated.)
The consent of the parents, or at least one of the parents, is required. (Can. 868. paragraph 1, #1)
“Parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks or soon as possible after the birth…” (Ref. Can. 867)
A “well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the catholic religion.” (Can. 868. paragraph 1, #2)
Registered as members of the parish at least six months prior to the Baptism of a child. If unregistered, registration at the time of catechesis (for territorial parishes), or if members of another parish, a letter from the pastor of their proper parish granting permission is required.
C. Participants for the preparation of the Sacrament of Baptism:
Parent(s) or guardians, Lay Catechists, Priest/deacon, and Godparents, (Cans. 873, 874 contain requirements for role of godparent.) If parents or godparents have participated in Baptismal Preparation within the last three years and are active Catholics, they are not required to attend again, but may do so if they wish.
Only one God parent is necessary. If a catholic couple wants to be Godparents there is no problem. The God parent must be fully initiated Roman Catholic (baptized, confirmed, received Eucharist), at least 16 years old, and must be leading a sacramental life in harmony with Roman Catholic Church (can.874). People who are married outside the Catholic Church and who are living together before marriages are not eligible to be godparents). The godparents should be willing to accept all the responsibilities of assisting the parents in developing the faith life of the child.
The God parents should not the father or mother of the one to be baptized. The Godparents must attend Baptismal preparation in order better understand their role as godparents. If they are from another parish , a letter of recommendation from their particular parish is required
A baptized and believing Christian from a separated church or community may act as a Christian witness (proxy), but there must be a Roman Catholic godparent (can. 874).
D. Catechesis for the Sacrament of Baptism
The doctrinal elements are referenced to the Catechism of the Catholic Church; the paragraph numbers are noted in parentheses. You are most welcome to refer to the details in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The Meaning of the Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism as the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist)
It is God’s communication of life and grace (1113-34), Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist as the way a person becomes a full member of the Body of Christ, the Christian community (1212), The Sacraments of Initiation originally celebrated in one Rite at Easter Vigil for adults (1229-33); today separated with infant Baptism (1250-52) The Sacraments of Initiation are the foundations of the Christian life, a sharing in divine nature through grace, which enable us to grow in Christian love (1212), Baptism as the door and gateway to Christian life in the Spirit (1213), Baptism is received only once and seals the child with an indelible spiritual mark (1272-74)
Baptism as the beginning of initiation into individual faith
Liberation from Original Sin (405, 977-78, 1250, 1265) and personal sin (for adults, 1262-63, 2520), Rebirth as a child of God (683, 1265), The beginning of our faith relationship with the Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (1266) Rebirth and new life through grace; metanoia, continuing conversion (1262)
Baptism as the beginning of initiation into communal faith (1253-55)
The beginning of our faith relationship with and incorporation into the Church through the family as the “domestic church” (Pope Pius VI)
Please call the office for information concerning baptismal classes and/or to schedule a baptism.
You must be a Member of our Community for at least 3 Months to begin the classes for the preparation of the Sacrament of Baptism. Please call the office (940) 683-2743.
Usted debe ser un miembro de nuestra Comunidad por lo menos 3 meses para comenzar las clases para la preparación de la sacramento de Bautismo.
Por favor, llame a nuestra oficina (940) 683-2743
Por favor, llame a nuestra oficina para recibir información sobre las clases de bautismo.