The birth of a child is a major event in the life of a family. No one has more influence on a child’s growing sense of God and the Catholic faith community than the child’s parents. This is why the parents are considered the first teachers of a child by the Catholic Church. The first step of initiation into the Catholic Church is the Sacrament of Baptism. Baptism makes us sharers in God’s own life and welcomes us into the family of God. At Baptism, the faith is proclaimed for infants by their parents and godparents who represent the Church. Using the trinitarian formula, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” the child is baptized with water and is cleansed of original sin. Baptism unites us with Christ because it incorporates us into the Church. St. Paul describes it as being “clothed” with Christ. It is through the Church that we are introduced to Jesus and grow in our ability to recognize his presence among us in the Scripture, in the Breaking of Bread, and the Assembly.
For Infants and Children under age 7:
The Sacrament of Baptism for Infants and Children is celebrated at various times throughout the year. The Parish has a schedule of dates from which families can select. Parents and Godparents are to attend a Sacramental Preparation session prior to the Baptism date. For more information, and to see the schedule of dates for classes – Baptism Schedule 2017 . Parents should contact the parish office to register for the Baptismal preparation class. You will then be contacted by the Baptismal Preparation Coordinator who will answer any of your questions and explain the process to you.
For Children age 7 thru Teens:
Children in this age group are placed in the Parish Faith Formation Program with their peers in age appropriate settings. In this program, children learn about the beauty of the Catholic faith and prepare for their Baptism. Please contact the Coordinator for Faith Formation or call the Parish office for more information.
Adults who are 18 years and older who are seeking to be Baptized will participate in a process called “Becoming Catholic.” This process leads to participation in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. For more information, contact the coordinator for “Becoming Catholic.”
Baptismal Preparation Class
The Baptismal Preparation Class consists of a one and a half hour meeting offered on the first Thursday of each month in English and Spanish. For a complete schedule of classes – Baptism Schedule 2017. Prior to attending the class, parents should contact the parish office and speak with the Baptismal preparation coordinator to register.
The class includes developing an understanding of the Sacrament of Baptism, including the meanings of the symbols of water, oil, the baptismal candle, and the white garment. Participants will also discuss their parental role in raising the children in the faith and building hopes and dreams for your child’s faith journey. Families also learn and are encouraged to become integrally involved in our parish family, making the Basilica of St. Paul your home away from home.
Before attending the Baptismal Preparation Class, parents should prayerfully consider their roles in bringing up their children as Christians. In the sacrament of Marriage, parents make the promise to accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church. Through the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism, parents are fulfilling their sacramental commitments. If the parents of the child to be baptized are not married in the Catholic Church, they should contact the pastor to consider doing so. If, for whatever reason, the parents are not married, or not married through the Catholic Church, the child may be baptized as long as the parents make a commitment to raise them in the Catholic Church. Both birth parents must sign a form giving their consent to have the child baptized.