What is Baptism?
“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. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ and are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission”
(Catechism of the Catholic Church #1213)
Through Baptism, God enables us to participate in his life in Jesus Christ and makes us his children. It is through this sacrament that we receive the Holy Spirit and become members of the People of God, of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. Baptism becomes our commitment to grow in this new life and to strive to acquire spiritual maturity. By baptism, God purifies us from sin.
At Holy Rosary, Baptism is usually celebrated on Sundays at 2 PM. Baptism preparation classes are held on the second Saturday of each month usually from 10-11 AM. This session is for parents and godparents who have a child to present for Baptism or are expecting a child in the next several months. Attendance is required.
When an adult is baptized, Baptism follows a rigorous period of instruction. In contrast, when a child is baptized, the Baptism precedes instruction. In light of this, the Church requires that parents give the assurance that upon the child’s Baptism, the child will be given every benefit of Christian and Catholic upbringing. The primary responsibility of raising a child in the ways of faith rests with the parents. This obligation begins with Baptism and extends all the way into adulthood.
Godparents should be chosen by parents primarily to be good religious examples to their child and not because the wish to bestow a family or social honor. The role of godparents is to help their godchild lead a Catholic Christian life. Godparents will be asked to assist parents in teaching the child about their Catholic Christian faith and as representatives of that community give witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ in word and deed.
The godparents should be present at the baptism to profess their faith as representatives of the child’s extended spiritual family and of the whole Church. During the liturgy, they declare their readiness to help the parents “in their duty as Christian mothers and fathers.”
Godparents for the Sacrament of Baptism must be Catholics who have received the sacraments of Eucharist, Confirmation and lead a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken.
Who can be a godparent?
• Must be at least sixteen years old
• Must be a practicing Catholic in good standing in the Catholic Church;
• Have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist;
• If married, they must have been married in the Catholic Church by a Catholic priest
• May not be the child’s parent
• Only one male and one female may be chosen as godparents
NB: A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic church community can participate as a witness to the baptism ONLY if the other person meets all the requirements necessary to be a godparent).