Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), 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 in the word.”
As good parents you care for the physical and emotional needs of your child, and as Christian parents you will care for the spiritual needs of your son or daughter by presenting your child for Baptism. Baptism is the foundational sacrament of Christian life and for membership in God’s Church. Jesus Christ, while on the cross, gave us Baptism from the very waters that poured from his pierced heart, and in this sacrament we see how much God truly loves us. The Sacrament of Baptism has profound and eternal effects.
When a person is baptized he or she is:
- Made a new creation, an adopted son or daughter of God, who has become partaker of the divine nature. – CCC 1265
- A member of the Body of Christ, the Church. – CCC 1267
- Freed from the power of darkness and is brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God. – CCC 1250
- Able to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him through the theological virtues; Given the power to love and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit; Helped to grow in the goodness through the moral virtues. – CCC 1266
If you are looking for Baptism for your newborn child, congratulations! We are happy that God has blessed your family with new life.
- Parents must be willing to bring their child up in the Catholic Faith and attend Sunday Mass weekly. Baptism is the beginning of supernatural life, but it must be nurtured throughout life.
- Parents must meet with a parish staff member prior to the Baptism. You will be contacted after filling out Baptismal Info Form. Baptism will not be scheduled until after initial contact.
- Must be good examples and sources of support for both the child and the parents and be fully initiated members of the Catholic Church.
- Must be confirmed and at least 16 years old.
- Must either be living a chaste life as a single person or be married in a valid Catholic marriage.
- Must be actively living their faith, attend Mass and confession regularly.
- Only one Catholic godparent is required.
Does it make a difference who you choose to be your children’s Godparents?
People often want to ask their best friends or favorite relatives to act as Godparents for their children; they usually do this as a way of honoring someone. Of course, we all would like to honor those who are dear to us, but the Baptism of your child may not be the right time to do so.
Would you ask your best friend to perform heart surgery on your child? Of course not, unless he/she were a competent heart surgeon. So if the role of Godparents is to help the parents to raise the child in the good practice of the Catholic faith, then it stands to reason that you should ask someone who shows by their own knowledge and practice that they can help someone else follow in their footsteps.
Helping a child become a good Catholic Christian in an important undertaking; it is therefore, equally important to ask someone who regularly prays with the community at Sunday Mass and, who in other ways practices his/her faith and shows commitment to Christian values.
None of this is to suggest that your dear friends or relatives are not good people. They will surely be with you to help you in many other ways. But, a teacher of mathematics may not be a good teacher of English grammar and a good friend or close relative may not be the best model of Catholic Christian practice.
If you value your faith, you will choose the best teachers to help you pass that faith onto your children.
*Taken from Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Godparent (Sponsor) Agreement, September 2005
The first of the seven sacraments, and the “door” which gives access to the other sacraments. Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification. Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist constitute the “sacraments of initiation” by which a believer receives the remission of original and personal sin, begins a new life in Christ and the Holy Spirit, and is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ.