Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.
– Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213
About The Sacrament of Baptism
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments. Those Baptized are reborn as children of God, become part of the family of Jesus, become members of the Church and share in the mission of the Church.
Baptism (together with Confirmation and Eucharist) reveals how God wants each of us to belong to Him. This connection with God also connects us to every other Baptized person prompting us to care for others and form a community of faith and love with other believers that continue to reveal God’s love to the world.
Baptism also reveals our purpose in life: to know, love and serve God in all kinds of ways, but especially through one another.
The prayers of Baptism demonstrate how the love of parents for their child reflect the way God looks at each person.
How to register your child for the Sacrament of Baptism
The following directions apply to infants and children under 12 years of age. Children in grades six or above, having reached the age of reason, will instead prepare to receive all of the Sacraments of Initiation, i.e. Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
At St. Joseph Church, parents are welcome to present their children to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. Recognizing the busy lives of many families, the process of preparing for Baptism is flexible. Most of the preparation is completed online at home at whatever pace the parents feel comfortable with. Directions for accessing the preparation material will be given in an email to those families who have completed a Baptismal Information Form.
After registering their child, completing the lessons and collecting information from Godparents, parents will be invited to make an appointment with a priest to set a date for the baptism.
Children from other parishes
Families who do not live in the region served by St. Joseph Church and do not normally worship at St. Joseph Church will be asked to obtain a letter of blessing or permission from their parish priest.
Is there any kind of fee?
No child will be denied the Sacrament of Baptism for financial reasons. However, parents are asked to provide a $50 stipend to the parish. This stipend can be delivered to the parish office or to the parish priest at the end of a Sunday Mass.
Who can be a Godparent?
The requirements for Godparents are:
- The child to be baptized must have only one Godfather or one Godmother or one of each.
- Godparents must be chosen by the one to be baptized or by the parents.
- Godparents must be at least 16 years of age.
- Godparents must be practicing Catholics leading lives in harmony with the Roman Catholic faith.
- Godparents must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation within the Catholic Church.
- Godparents must not be under any canonical penalty.
- Godparents cannot be a parent of the one to be baptized.
- Godparents must be willing to make the promise found in the Baptismal Ritual; this promise can be found below.
When parents are considering who to select as Godparents for their child, sometimes they recognize qualities within a non-Catholic that would make for a good Godparent. A baptized person belonging to a non-Catholic Christian community may be included as a witness to a baptism so long as the one to be baptized also has a Catholic Godparent. This Christian Witness makes the same promises as a Godparent would, participates in the ritual in the same way as a Godparent and are recorded in the baptismal register along with the Godparent as a Christian Witness.
The Baptismal Promise
Before a child is baptized, parents and Godparents must be willing to make a solemn this promise before their child, the Church and God:
The celebrant speaks to the parents in these or similar words:
You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him (her) in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him (her) up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?
Parents: We do.
Then the celebrant turns to the godparents and addresses them in these or similar words:
Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents?
Godparents: We are.