To arrange a baptism for your child, call the office (323-1484) and register for the next Baptism Preparation Class which is held by Deacon Pfenning in the church itself on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. An RSVP is necessary.
Parents and both Godparents are required to attend a preparation session which lasts about an hour. No baptism date will be chosen until parents and Godparents attend a preparation session. Parents are to be registered at St. Patrick’s or other Catholic parish. If the parents or Godparents live elsewhere and thus can’t attend the preparation class at St. Patrick, then they can attend a baptism class at the closest Catholic parish. They need to ask the preparation instructor to send a Certificate of Completion to St. Patrick Church. The certificate may be mailed or emailed. (Baptismal preparation is not done via YouTube or Skype.)
Godparents should both be Catholic, attend Sunday mass regularly, and are “in good standing” with the Church. “In good standing” means that if single, they are not cohabitating; and if married, the marriage is recognized by the Catholic Church. (Please ask if you are unsure.) One man and one woman are to be Godparents. Often families have a background of mixed faiths, non-Catholic and Catholic. One Godparent can be a baptized non-Catholic.
If the child is old enough to have received Holy Communion (2nd grade) or Confirmation (10th grade), special arrangements need to be made.
Baptism – A brief explanation
Baptism is the first of three sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church; the remaining two are Holy Communion and Confirmation.
Baptism is often nicknamed “the door to the Church” as it is the “door” by which one enters to officially become a member of the Church. Church buildings constructed since the 1950s often have large baptism fonts at the main door of the church which reinforce this truth. The early Church emphasized this reality by having entire baptistery buildings created separate but next to the church itself.
You may have heard it called “Christening”. It is a good nickname, because Baptism does make us more like Christ. Original sin and personal sin are washed away by Jesus’ power at work in Baptism. Water itself is a sign of cleansing. God uses this commonly understood sign of cleansing and infuses it with His power to show what he is doing in the Sacrament.
Jesus Himself neither had original sin nor committed sin, but even Jesus was baptized, by John the Baptist. John said, “It should be You baptizing me.” But Jesus responds, “It is necessary to fulfill all righteousness.” In other words, to begin the journey to live in full righteousness and goodness, Baptism is needed. It shows our commitment to God and our desire to fully be in relationship with Him. After Baptism we are considered part of the Mystical Body of Christ.
One early Church Father stated, “The waters of Baptism were made holy by Jesus’ presence in the water and thus made all waters of Baptism holy.” By Jesus allowing Himself to be baptized, He is showing us the way. The heavens opened up and God the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” So, too, in Baptism we become adopted sons and daughters of God.
God has used water many times throughout salvation history to rid the world of evil and ultimately save humanity from sin. In the time of Noah, God used the Great Flood to cleanse the world of evil and created a new beginning for humanity to live in holiness (Genesis 6 – 8). In the time of Moses, God used the waters of the Red Sea to destroy Pharaoh’s army and save the Jewish people from slavery and idolatry (Exodus 11 – 12). The Sirian general, Naaman, washed seven times in the Jordan River and was miraculously healed of his leprosy; after that he believed and worshiped the one true God (2 Kings 5:1-27). At the crucifixion, the ultimate sign of Jesus’ sacrificial love and mercy, blood and water flowed from His side as He hung upon the cross (John 19:31-37). God has used water many times throughout history when saving His people. God continues to save us today through the waters of Baptism.
Baptism – Scripture & Tradition
|John 3:5||“Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”|
|Mark 16:16||“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”|
|1 Corinthians 15:21-22||“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”|
|Mark 10:14||“…He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”|
|Luke 18:15||“People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them.”|
|Colossians 2:11-12||Baptism has replaced circumcision
Note: Circumcision in Jewish tradition occurred on the eighth day after the child’s birth. The number eight is a sign of new creation. Baptismal fonts often have eight sides.
|Joshua 24:15||“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
Note: “House” in ancient Jewish culture referred to one’s immediate family and extended family.
|Matthew 8:5ff||servant healed because of centurion’s faith|
|Matthew 15:21ff||daughter healed because of Canaanite woman’s faith|
|Luke 7:1ff||just say the word and let my servant be healed|
|Acts 16:31||believe in Lord Jesus you and house will be saved|
|Acts 16:15||“When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.”|
|Acts 16:33||“At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.”|
|1 Corinthians 1:10-16||Paul’s baptisms|
St. Hippolytus of Rome (c. AD 215): “Baptize first the children; and if they can speak for themselves, let them do so. Otherwise, let their parents or other relatives speak for them.” The Apostolic Tradition 21.
Origen (post AD 244): “…the Church received from the apostles the tradition of giving baptism also to infants.” Commentary on Romans 5,9.
In AD 252, Council of Carthage condemned the opinion that newborns must wait until the 8th day to be baptized, like Old Testament circumcision. St. Cyprian of Carthage, Letter 64 (59),2.
Baptism – Seeking adult baptism/RCIA
Adults are always welcome to be baptized!! It is never too late to commit yourself to the Lord through His gift of baptism! The Holy Spirit has been working in your life throughout the years in subtle ways and now it has become more powerful for you. There were likely varied obstacles in life that kept you from hearing the Good News and responding to it. Now is not the case.
For those wanting to know more about God and how to become a member of His Church, the program in place for you is called RCIA. RCIA stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults” and is often called the best kept secret of the Catholic Church. It is no secret, but it is a place where many others, like yourself, get together with experienced teachers to answer your questions and enkindle the flame of faith already kindling in your heart.
Contact the RCIA Coordinator. Classes are during the school year on Thursdays from 7 –8:30pm. Special arrangements can made for the deaf and for those with difficult working hours.