Baptizing Infants & Children
Children who will grow up with at least one practicing Catholic parent are ordinarily baptized within a few months after birth. We offer a baptismal preparation program for parents who have not previously baptized a child. Call the parish office for the next class date. After completion of this program, parents make contact with the Pastor for important followup. Participation is mandatory for Catholic parents and is encouraged for first time godparents. Since a godparent promises to help parents raise the child in the faith of the Church, he/she must be a confirmed Catholic who is practicing the faith. Practicing Catholic parents who are already raising a child in the faith of the Church need only call the office to arrange the baptism of another child. Ideally, parents should be married according to the laws of the Catholic Church prior to baptizing a child. Exceptions to this must be discussed with the pastor prior to making any firm plans for a baptism. Baptisms may be scheduled on any weekend following one of the Masses. We do not customarily schedule baptisms during Lent. All baptisms of children must be arranged at least one month in advance. If you are baptizing a first child, please contact Father Jack before completing the Baptism Form that can be downloaded from this page.
Baptizing children of catechetical age
Unbaptized school aged children are eligible to participate in a special program which will prepare them to be baptized, confirmed, and admitted to Holy Communion at the Easter Vigil. They may celebrate these sacraments as long as they have attained the age of reason (around second grade). These children are prepared for their first confession in the year following their initiation. Please contact our Director of Christian Formation for details.
Adult Baptism: A Journey of Conversion
The process by which adults are baptized is best described as a Journey of Faith. Catholics believe that conversion to Jesus Christ is a lifelong and ongoing process.
Participants in Journey of Faith are invited to become disciples of Jesus Christ through prayer and worship, the Word of God, and fellowship with members of our community. Through a gradual training in the Christian way of life, the unbaptized come to know Jesus Christ through the Catholic Christian community and they learn to live as Jesus’ disciples as participants in the mission of Jesus Christ in the world today.
A Step-by-Step Look
1: The pre-catechumenate
The JOF officially begins when a person calls the parish office and says something like, “I want to be baptized”, or, “I’d like to know more about the Catholic Church”. This first stage, called the period of evangelization and pre-catechumenate, is also known as the inquiry period. During this first period of the process the parish helps the inquirer to discover just what it is he or she is seeking. The end of this period is marked by the Rite of Acceptance.
This second stage of the initiation process is the extended period of time when those to be initiated receive their more formal training in the Christian way of life.
In addition to the study of the Scriptures, study sessions help them understand the doctrinal teachings of the Church. They experience the prayer and worship life of the Church. They learn how to live and serve others in apostolic witness. And they develop their relationship with the Catholic Christian community.
When they have experienced a true conversion to the Christian way of life, they celebrate the second major ritual in the process of initiation: the Rite of Election.
3: Period of purification
This final period of preparation is one of intense, spiritual recollection that usually coincides with Lent. It is a period of purification and enlightenment. It is a time for reflection and prayer more than teaching.
Lent ends when the sacred Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter begins, at sunset Thursday of Holy Week.
Sacraments of Initiation. At the Easter Vigil after sunset on Holy Saturday, the elect celebrate the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. The elect are plunged into the waters of new birth and come out of those waters reborn in Christ. They are then configured to be more like Christ through the sacred chrism of Confirmation. Finally, the culmination of their initiation happens when they taste the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
4: Period of mystagogy
The process of initiation continues even after the Easter celebration. The word, mystagogia, comes from an ancient Greek word meaning a deepening understanding of the mysteries of our faith. During the Easter season, the neophytes (newly initiated) gather each week to deepen their grasp of the great paschal mystery into which they have just been incorporated. The new Christians, now part of Christ’s body, must now go forth with us to continue the mission of Jesus Christ.