The Glory of Baptism
“Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, he who in his great mercy gave us new birth; a birth unto hope which draws its life from the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; a birth to an imperishable inheritance, incapable of fading or defilement, which is kept in heaven for you who are guarded with God’s power through faith; a birth to a salvation which stands ready to be revealed in the last days.” 1 Peter: 3-5.
Baptism is a Sacrament of Christian initiation. Through the grace of Baptism we become “a new creature,”adopted sons and daughters of God and we are incorporated into the Body of Christ, the Church. Baptism is the Sacrament of regeneration by which we are freed from Original Sin and are born again of water and the Holy Spirit as we receive a new and spiritual life in Christ. Baptism is the “door of the Church.” through which we enter into life in the Spirit and attain the right to receive the other Sacraments as we enter into the universal Church and the Communion of Saints. Baptism is the Sacrament of Faith offered to all who have faith in Jesus. Baptism is the beginning of a life of faith and brings us into a community of faith. Baptism is a Gift of Sanctifying Grace because it is given to those who bring nothing of their own. It is grace because it is given out of love even to the guilty. We receive this magnificent gift of grace – To believe in God– To hope in Him.– To love Him.
Adults seeking baptism must first attend the R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) program to gain an understanding of the meaning of baptism and other sacraments of the Catholic faith.
Parents seek to provide the gift of Baptism for their children and speak on their behalf at the Baptism. Parents promise in the name of their child to renounce sin and the devil, and to live the faith according to the teachings of Christ and His Church. Parents seeking baptism for their children must attend Baptism Preparation classes as outlined in the guidelines below.
GUIDELINES FOR INFANT AND CHILD BAPTISM
As you prepare for your child to be adopted into the Family of God, we invite you to consider these spiritual preparations.
It is presumed that one or both of you is a baptized and practicing Catholic. You are baptizing your child into a Catholic way of life, and he/she will be learning from you, the first teachers of your child, how to live that life of faith.
It is the teaching of the Church that infants be baptized within the first few weeks after birth. As least a month before the birth, parents should call to schedule an appointment and attend the Baptism Preparation Session along with the selected godparents.
Ideally, your child’s godparents should be someone who can support you as a Christian parent and build a relationship with your child as he/she grows up in the Catholic faith.
For an infant or child to be baptized, it is necessary:
- That at least one of the parents’ consents to it, or the person who has legal guardianship.
- Call to schedule an appointment and bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
- That there is a well founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion.
- If your child has reached the age of reason (approximately 7 years old) he/she also must be prepared by attending the religious education sessions designed for them.
- Parents and godparents attend a Baptism Preparation Session. This may be done here at Old Mission Santa Inés or if done at their home parish, they will need to provide a certificate of attendance before the day of Baptism.
- After you have attended the Baptism Preparation Session, you may call the priest to schedule the Baptism date.
A godparent must:
- Be chosen by the parents or whoever legally stands in their place
- Be at least sixteen years old
- Be a practicing member in good standing of the Catholic Church and one who lives a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken
- Have received all three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation
- If married, must have been married in the Catholic Church before a priest or deacon
- Not be the child’s parent
- A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may not be a godparent except together with a Catholic godparent and then only as a witness of the baptism.
- There is to be only one male godparent or one female godparent or one of each.
- Usually there are two godparents, a godfather and a godmother. However, if necessary, there may be just one godparent.
Please know of our prayers for you and your baby as you prepare for this most important gift of God!
Baptism Preparation Sessions are held on the 2nd Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m.
Call Sister Lucia for appointment. (805) 688-4815 (ext 17)