Congratulations on the birth of your child! And thank you for your interest in celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism with us at St. Ignatius. Nothing brings us greater joy than to welcome new life and new members. Nothing except perhaps seeing those new lives and their families grow in faith with us throughout the journey of life.
Parenthood is, of course, serious business – as is the decision to have your child baptized. Far more than a mere ritual of welcome, the Sacrament of Baptism represents the claiming of a soul for Christ Jesus the Lord – a gesture we make in hope and love, and one which imparts the great responsibility to parents, godparents and the wider church community of helping form that soul in the practice of the faith.
The Church professes that 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, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213)
In baptizing an infant – who cannot possibly understand or willingly consent to belief in Christ – the Church recognizes that faith is aspirational and shaped by the decisions we make and the examples we provide for our children. Baptism is a beginning – a graced gateway.
Consider the beautiful words the celebrating priest or deacon addresses to the newly baptized child:
The Lord Jesus made the deaf hear and the mute speak. May he soon touch your ears to receive his word and your mouth to proclaim his faith, to the praise and glory of God the Father.
Such is our hope and our prayer – and the reason we ask several things of you and your chosen godparents as we plan for the Sacrament of Baptism:
Parents should be registered members of a Catholic parish.
The parish church is the locus of our common prayer and sacramental life. Belonging to and engaging in the life of such a worshipping community of believers is essential for the faith formation of your child.
You are most welcome to join St. Ignatius! Here’s an easy link to do so: http://www.st-ignatius.net/parish-registration-form/
Parents and godparents should participate in a baptism preparation program.
The Sacrament of Baptism is a transformational event and a ritual rich with symbolism pointing to the deepest truths of our faith. The universal Church asks therefore that all parents and godparents prepare by attending a simple course on the Sacrament of Baptism.
Parents and godparents (grandparents and babies too!) are warmly invited to participate in such a course at St. Ignatius. It may be more convenient (especially for godparents) to take the course in another Catholic parish. This is fine – provided one obtain a letter from that parish acknowledging the completion of the program (to be submitted prior to the baptism).
Godparents should be confirmed and active Catholics.
You will surely have friends and family who do not meet this requirement – even though you know that they will be wonderful moral supports for your child. This is a blessed thing indeed! For baptism – the Church asks for a certain kind of support by way of the godparents. It needs folks who live and know their Catholic faith vibrantly. They have a sacred role assigned to them in helping steward your child’s growth in the faith. Therefore at least one godparent must be a confirmed and active Catholic. Catholic godparents need to request a letter from their own parishes declaring their active membership (to be submitted prior to the baptism).
Thank you and God bless you and your family!
With the above in mind, please complete all fields on the following registration form: Any questions can be directed to Fr. Jim Casciotti, S.J. (email@example.com).