Baptism is the first sacrament of Christian initiation and is the foundation of all other sacraments. It is the sacrament of Baptism that frees a person from original sin, gives the promise of eternal life with God in heaven and are through which we are given the access to his grace that will sustain us in our life as Christians and members of the body of Christ.
Baptism is administered by immersing the recipient in water or by pouring water on the person’s head “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. One must be baptized before sharing in any of the other sacraments.
Infants can be baptized soon after birth. As infants, the person being baptized is not able to freely choose the sacrament as in the case of an adult, so the Church depends on parents, who want what is best for their child and who are the primary educators of the child, to make the decision on behalf of the child. In the celebration of the sacrament the parents and the godparents are challenged directly to ask the Church for the gift of Faith for the child and must promise to raise this child according to the teachings of the Catholic faith. For helpful information on choosing Godparents, please read Bishop Tobin’s Without a Doubt column, Godparents: Helpers on the Road of Faith.
Adults who have never been baptized take part in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), and will typically be baptized at the Easter Vigil.
The Catholic Church recognizes the Baptism from other Christian denominations who baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The mark of baptism is indelible: there is nothing that we can do to lose the promise of salvation, thus a person can only be baptized once.
It is in Baptism that our faith journey begins. The Church offers us more sign posts along the way to salvation to keep us on the right path. These are the other sacraments. We gain access to these sacraments through our entrance in the body of Christ at our baptism and are reminded of that baptism each time we bless ourselves at the entrance of the Church in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Read more about the Sacrament of Baptism in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
To request a copy of your baptismal certificate, or that of your child, please contact the parish office at 401-737-4455.