The Sacrament of Baptism is the first sacrament that a person celebrates and the first of three sacraments referred to as “the sacraments of initiation.” Through baptism, a person begins a new life with Christ, becoming a child of God and a Christian. It is the first step in a life in which one strives to become more and more like Christ. Baptism symbolizes and brings about a union with Christ’s death and resurrection. Baptism also creates a bond of unity that links all those who have been baptized.
The ordinary minister of baptism is a priest or deacon. Baptism requires the pouring of water and the pronouncement of the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Baptism for Adults & Children (seven years and up)
Recognizing their right and ability to take an active role in considering and preparing for this life-changing step, the Church provides a special process called The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) for anyone, seven years old or older, who wishes to be baptized Catholic. The R.C.I.A. is also for anyone who was baptized Catholic but not raised in the faith and did not celebrate the sacraments of Confirmation or Eucharist/Communion, or for a person who was raised in a different faith and is considering becoming a Catholic.
The R.C.I.A. consists of gatherings over a number of months that provide an education and immersion experience in the Catholic faith. There are separate groups for adults and children.
The R.C.I.A. is divided into four stages and the stages are marked by rituals of blessing and commitment. The stages are intended to overlap and be open-ended, based on the needs of the participant:
The Period of Inquiry (initial questions and reflection)
Rite of Welcome
The Period of the Catechumen (from a Greek word meaning “teaching,” a period of instruction)
Rite of Election
The Period of Enlightenment (a particularly reflective and spiritual time of preparation)
Celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation (usually at the Easter Vigil)
The Period of Mystagogy (from a Greek word meaning “mystery,” more instruction and reflection about involvement in the community)
In the Cathedral Community, R.C.I.A. gatherings usually take place on Wednesday evenings, beginning in September . The Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist/Communion) are celebrated on the night before Easter.
For more information, or to join, please call the office at 254-3221.
Baptism for Infants & Children (younger than seven)
The Church baptizes young children based on the desire, in faith, of their parents or legal guardians. Because children younger than seven do not yet have the ability to understand the meaning of baptism, and it rights and responsibilities, their parents are responsible for
- desiring baptism,
- promising to teach them about God and raise them as active members of the Catholic Church, and
- completing a specific preparation for baptism.
Baptism preparation: Parents are the first and most important teachers of their children in the faith. Our responsibility as a parish community is to support your efforts with a preparation program that is meaningful and helpful to you. The steps are as follows:
- Meet with one of our deacons for the baptismal session. Before meeting, it may be helpful to reflect on the conversation starters (click here). The baptism will also be scheduled. Please contact the office at 254-3221 x104 to schedule your meeting with one of our Deacons.
- At this meeting you will discuss godparents. Godparents, as baptismal sponsors, promise to assist you in your duty as Christian parent(s) or guardians. To serve as a godparent, an individual must be at least 16 years old, have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist in the Roman Catholic Church, and live a life in conformity with the gospel of Jesus Christ. A baptized non-Catholic Christian may serve as a Christian witness in place of one of the godparents.
- Baptism is usually celebrated on Sunday afternoons at 12:45 pm (outside of Mass).
- You will also be invited to a delicious dinner with other young families periodically which will offer timely tips and support for raising children in today’s church and world.
A person is required to have at least one Godparent who meets the following requirements:
- At least 16 years old
- Fully-initiated Catholic (has celebrated Baptism, Confirmation and Communion)
- Practices their Catholic faith
- A baptized non-Catholic Christian may serve as a Christian witness in place of one of the godparents.