Baptism

Congratulations on the birth of your child and a gift from God. We rejoice with you on your desire to present your child for the Sacrament of Baptism!

We celebrate the Rite of Baptism for Several Children every 3rd Saturday of the Month (10am in Spanish and 11am in English) except during Lent. The Rite of Baptism for One Child may be scheduled pending availability.

Parents and Godparents are required to attend baptismal catechesis at St. Pius X or at another parish. We offer baptismal catechesis in English and Spanish every 1st Saturday of the Month. Parents and Godparents who have recently participated in baptismal catechesis (within 3 years) are not required to attend again, but are encouraged to attend as an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the sacrament.

Following baptism, it is the responsibility of the parents to raise the child in the faith and ensure the child’s formal religious education.


Guidelines

1. The Sacrament of Baptism is as solemn and important as birth itself. The most important part of preparing for your child's baptism is to look at your own faith. Infant baptism can only be meaningful if the parents are committed to raise the child in the faith. Parents need to remember that they are the primary educators of their children. The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

a. Infants are considered those who have not yet reached the age of reason, i.e. seven years of age and those who are not responsible for themselves (canon 852).

b. Baptism of infants should be celebrated within a few weeks of birth (canon 867, §1).

c. While it is not customary to refuse baptism, the sacrament is to be delayed if there is not a founded hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic religion. Parents should be advised of the reason for the delay (canon 868, §1, 2°). 8 8

d. In the case of single parents or parents in irregular marriages, baptism should not be delayed if there is a founded hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic religion.

e. In cases of pending adoption, baptism should be delayed until the adoption is finalized.

2. Godparents, together with parents, present the infant to the Church for baptism. The selection of two godparents is customary, but only one, either male or female, is required for baptism. If two godparents are chosen, one should be male and one female (canon 873).

a. A godparent must be a fully initiated Catholic (have received Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) and should have completed his/her sixteenth year unless the pastor makes an exception for a just cause (canon 874, §1, 2° and 3°).

b. A godparent must be a practicing Catholic leading a life in harmony with the Catholic faith and the role of godparent (canon 874, §1, 3° and 4°).

c. A godparent cannot be the parent of the infant (canon 874, §1, 5°).

d. Godparents are required to participate in the baptismal preparation process.

Notes:

a. A Christian, baptized in another faith tradition, may not serve as godparent, but may serve as a witness along with the Catholic godparent and should be recorded accordingly (canon 874, §2).

b. Parents take responsibility for choosing a godparent or godparents who will serve as good examples for living the Catholic way of life.

c. As a mark of the continuity between baptism and confirmation, a godparent may later serve as the sponsor of the child when he or she is confirmed (canon 893, §2).

d. A Christian witness may not serve as a sponsor for confirmation.

e. Where there is a cultural practice of multiple godparents, pastors may allow the family to involve a number of people in the celebration. However, only one set of godparents is recorded (canon 873).

 

Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (John 3:5)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”

The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.

Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.

Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.

White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.