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. Baptism is the Sacrament by which we are initiated into the life of Christ and become a member of God’s household. Baptism may take place at any age after proper catechetical instruction. For adults this process is through R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). For children of catechetical age (7 or older) this process is through R.C.I.C. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Children). Parents of infants or small children are required to attend a baptismal instruction class. After attending the class and obtaining Certificates of Eligibility from the Godparents, they may call the parish office and arrange a date for the Baptism.
The Catholic Church allows one or two sponsors for Baptism, commonly referred to as “Godparents”, or one qualified Catholic sponsor and one Christian witness (those baptized in another Christian faith). The Church asks that there be one male sponsor and one female sponsor if there are two. If there is only one sponsor chosen, that person may be male or female. Sponsors must have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist and be at least 16 years of age. If married, they must have been married in a Catholic ceremony recognized by the Catholic Church. If a Christian witness is chosen in addition to one Catholic sponsor, the Christian Witness must provide a letter from the Church they are registered and participating with, stating they have satisfied all the requirements of their faith and are qualified to be a Witness to Baptism.
Parents and Godparents are required to attend a Baptism Prep Class. Baptism’s are scheduled only after we have received Certificates of Eligibility for the Godparents.
The purpose of the sponsor is to assist the child in the development of their faith. For this reason you are asked to choose someone who practices their faith and not simply as an award to a faithful friend or relative. Once a Godparent has been chosen and the baptism has been performed the record cannot be altered later if you have a falling out with the Godparent or Christian witness. You are urged to take this seriously and choose wisely.