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Baptism

  • Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, as we are born of the water and the Spirit. Baptism is necessary for salvation (John 3:5), and conveys a permanent sign that the new Christian is a child of God. Jesus himself was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9-11). The martyr St. Ignatius of Antioch, in his Letter to the Ephesians written about 100 AD, stated that Jesus "Christ was baptized, that by himself submitting he might purify the water." Baptism is prefigured in the Old Testament through the saving of Noah and his family during the Flood (Genesis 7:12-23, 1 Peter 3:20-21), and Moses crossing of the Red Sea during the Exodus, leaving captivity for the Promised Land (Exodus 14:1-22).
  • The Greek word baptizein means to "immerse, plunge, or dip." The infant or candidate is anointed with the oil of catechumens, followed by the parents, godparents, or candidate making the profession of faith. The essential rite of Baptism consists of the minister immersing the baby or person in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." The infant or candidate is then anointed with sacred chrism.
  • What has taken place in Baptism is indicated by the rites that follow it, the clothing in the white garment and giving of the lighted candle: the baptized person has "put on Christ" and has now become light. Here are three Scriptural sources in the New Testament (See also Matthew 3:13-17, Luke 3:21-22; Acts 1:21-22; Romans 6:3-4; Ephesians 4:5; Colossians 2:11-13, I Peter 3:21):
Sacrament Biblical Basis Central Words Central Actions Effects
BAPTISM

Matt 28:19 - Jesus commissions the apostles: "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit";

John 3:22; 4:1-2 - Jesus' first disciples baptize other disciples;

Acts 2:38-41; 10:47-48 - new believers are baptized "in the name of Jesus" by Peter & others;

(not just Jesus' own baptism: Mark 1:9-11 & par.)

"I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

(the "Trinitarian Formula," from Matt 28:19)

[Note: Some Protestants baptize "in the name of Jesus"; see Acts 2 & 10)

The candidate is immersed in water, or water is poured over the candidate's head.

Becoming a member of the Church of Christ (Christian Initiation); also being forgiven of one's sins.

Baptism at St. John the Baptist

1st Grade and younger:
  • Parents and Godparents attend a Saturday class from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. held on the third Saturday of each month. No pre-registration is required. Arrangements for baptism are made through the Parish Office (985-2065) after attending the class.
2nd Grade - High School:
  • Parents, with children who are ages 7 - 16, bring their children forward for full membership in the Church through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. This process is the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adult (RCIA) As Adapted For Children / Teens. Students ages 17 & 18 will join the RCIA process with the adult community.
  • This is a two-year commitment. During the second year, the children journey toward the Easter vigil and the joy of Jesus’ resurrection. It is a time to share stories, questions, prayer, catechesis, etc. In the RCIA for children/teens, a parent is considered the appropriate sponsor for their child. This requires a family catechesis in which a parent attends the weekly classes with their child or teen.
  • The Children’s Initiation process parallels the adult process of RCIA.
  • The catechetical sessions of the adult and youth are separate, with the division due to time considerations and maturity of content. Yet, the adults and youth participate together in the liturgical rites and all come forward together to accept their God and membership in the Roman Catholic Church.
Requirements to be a Godparent or Sponsor for Confirmation:
  • There should be a godparent for the person to be baptized as far as this is possible. In adult baptism, the godparent assists in Christian initiation. In infant baptism, the godparent, with the parents, presents the child for baptism and helps the baptized to lead the Christian life in harmony with baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent to it (can. 872). There may be one godfather, one godmother, or one of each (can. 873).
  • If there are two godparents, one must be male and the other female. A single godparent may be of either sex. It may happen that parents want two person of the same sex to be godparents and they have good reasons for this. A possible solution to such a case is to register one as the official godparent, while the other would assume only the cultural and familial customs connected with the role.
    • Qualifications of godparents - The qualifications of godparents at baptism given here also apply to the godparent (sponsor) for confirmation: The godparents are to be chosen by the adult who is to be baptized or, at infant baptism, by the parents or the person who takes their place. When this is not possible, the pastor or other minister should choose the godparent or godparents.
    • The godparents must have the qualifications for and intention of carrying out this duty.
    • The godparents’ duty is not only to be present for the celebration of the sacrament, but it is a lifelong responsibility to help the baptized lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it (can. 872).
    • They are to be a least sixteen years of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age or unless, in an exceptional case, it seem to the pastor or minister that there is just cause to admit a younger person.
    • They must be Catholics who are already confirmed and have received the holy Eucharist.
    • They should be leading a life of faith in harmony with the duty they are undertaking.
    • They may not be under a lawfully imposed or declared canonical penalty.
    • They may not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized (cc. 874 , 1, 893).
    • If married, they must be married in the church or have the proper ecclesiastical dispensation (cc. 874 1, 894).
    • We do not recommend 2 non-Catholic witnesses.
    • A baptized Catholic cannot be considered a Christian witness if he or she is not confirmed.
More information about the Children/Youth and Adult Faith Formation at St. John the Baptist: