“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 sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213).
The Sacrament of Baptism celebrates the very essence of our Christian Faith: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It initiates one into the body of Christ, the parish faith community. Since the parents’ decision to bring their child into the church entails the important responsibility of raising their child in the faith, St. Mary’s has the following guidelines in place to ensure that parents have an understanding of the commitment they are undertaking.
Step 1: Parish Registration
All families must be registered members of St. Mary parish to have their child baptized. Family registration ensures that a sacramental record of the baptism is kept at the parish; this is required by Church law. Registration is free and does not require a financial commitment.
Step 2: Scheduling the Baptism and Paperwork
Please call the parish office to schedule the baptism at least 3 months before the desired date. Additional paperwork will be mailed or emailed to you for the certificate and godparent information. Baptisms are held on the second and third weekends of each month. Baptisms on the second weekend are group baptisms and occur after the 10:30 AM Mass. Baptisms on the third weekend occur during all the Masses.
Step 3: Baptism Preparation
New parents, or parents who have not attended preparation in the past 2 years, are required to go through preparation. Parents will meet with an assigned mentor couple to discuss the sacrament and how to raise a child in the practice of the faith. This is a one time meeting.
Step 4: Godparent Approval
Godparents are an important part of a child's baptism and faith journey. Through the sacrament, the godparent is raised to the level of the parent in terms of guiding and mentoring the child in the practice of the faith. Therefore, a godparent must be a confirmed, practicing Catholic. If two godparents are chosen, one must be male and one female, and at least one must be a confirmed, practicing Catholic. A sponsor approval form is needed for Catholic godparents who are not members at St. Mary.
Rites of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
Those who are seeking initiation into the Catholic Church participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). This includes:
- Any adult not yet baptized and who wishes to become Catholic.
- Any adult baptized in another Christian Church who wishes to become Catholic.
- Any adult baptized in the Catholic Church, but not raised in the faith and who seeks complete initiation (Confirmation and First Eucharist).
Formation for RCIA includes sessions that explore the Catholic faith, prayer, and community life in the parish. Sessions typically begin in the Fall and meet until Easter. However, the journey to reception into the Church is unique to each individual. Those interested in learning more should contact the parish office.