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, Matthew 28:19
- At least one parent must be a practicing Catholic and a registered member of this parish for at least 3 months.
- The parents must take the Baptism Class unless they have taken the class within the last three years.
The Sacrament of Baptism
CCC 1213 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. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word.”
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” From the earliest years of the Church, not only adults, but also children have been joined to Jesus and His Church through the sacrament of Baptism. Like all of the sacraments, Baptism is not only a sign of faith, but also a means of grace. This means that it has a real spiritual effect in the soul of the baptized infant. Responding to Jesus’ words to Nicodemus that “No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit (1),” the Catholic Church has always placed the highest value on the Sacrament of Baptism, believing that through Baptism, the soul is cleansed of original sin, and a person becomes a child of God, and an heir to eternal life.
For this reason, the Church has always striven to make sure that young children are not deprived of the grace of Baptism, obliging Christian parents to baptize their infants within the first few weeks of life (2). This great urgency is redoubled if it appears that an infant may be in danger of death, as it would be a great loss for a child to depart this life without the grace of Baptism.
“Parents, sponsors, and the Pastor are to see that a name foreign to the Christian tradition is not given,” Compiled Policies no. 1.4; 1983 CIC c. 855.
While a distinction exists between godparent and sponsor in the Rite nos. 8-9 and 42- 43; see, note to 1983 CIC c. 872, the requirements are essentially the same:
- A sponsor assists the person, who is to receive Baptism and Confirmation, to lead a Christian life;
- There may be only one male and one female sponsor;
- A sponsor must be designated by the parents of an infant, by an adult himself or herself, or by the Pastor or other cleric who administers the Sacrament;
- A sponsor must have completed his or her 16th year;
- A sponsor must have received the Sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist;
- A sponsor must be a practicing Catholic;
- A sponsor must be free of any canonical penalty;
- A mother or father may not be a sponsor for their child;
- A baptized non-Catholic may only act as a witness where a Catholic sponsor has been designated.
- 1983 CIC c. 872-874 and 892-893; Compiled Policies no. 1.5.
An indelible spiritual mark…
CCC 1274 The Holy spirit has marked us with the seal of the Lord (“Dominicus character”) “for the day of redemption .” “Baptism indeed is the seal of eternal life.” The faithful Christian who has “kept the seal” until the end, remaining faithful to the demands of his Baptism, will be able to depart this life “marked with the sign of faith,” with his baptismal faith, in expectation of the blessed vision of God – the consummation of faith – and in the hope of resurrection.