SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM

Baptism, the gateway to the sacraments and necessary for salvation by actual reception or at least by desire, is validly conferred only by a washing of true water with the proper form of words.  Through baptism men and women are freed from sin, are reborn as children of God, and, configured to Christ by an indelible character, are incorporated into the Church. (Code of Canon Law [hereafter, CIC], can. 849)

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (hereafter, “CCC”), 1215-121


Baptism is “regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit”: Baptism signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one "can enter the kingdom of God” (Titus 3:5; John 3:5).


 "This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . ." Having received in Baptism the Word, "the true light that enlightens every man," the person baptized has been "enlightened," he becomes a "son of light," indeed, he becomes "light" himself:


Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift....We call it. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God's Lordship. (St. Gregory of Nazianzus)

 At Saint Michael’s, baptisms typically are conducted during the 10am Mass on the first Sunday of the month. New members of Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, fittingly enter this saving Communion within the context of the Liturgy, the Source and Summit of the Christian Life. Father gives mandatory pre-baptismal classes by mutual convenience. Parents must be registered parishioners or must obtain the written permision of their pastor. Contact the parish office to make arrangements for the Baptism. In choosing “Godparents”, please pay close attention to the requirements for sponsors (see below). If there is any doubt or you need a further explanation please contact us.

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Whatever is a gift,is also a 
responsibility.  For that reason, Holy Mother Church wants her children to take seriously the tradition (handing-on) of the entire Faith—beliefs, worship, morals, and prayer—to the newest generation. Like any worthy human action, tradition must be given with as much understanding and freedom as possible, and must be received with same. God does not force Himself upon us.

God has set it up that the requirements for siring a child are basic, but the requirements for parenthood are far greater. Precious is the obligation to share religion and spirituality in a complex world! Catholic educators (in Catholic schools and religious education programs) happily assist parents in that task, but parents remain the first and best teachers of their children in the ways of faith.

If you aren’t going to Mass and receiving the sacraments, if you aren’t periodically praying together, if you aren’t living in accordance with the teachings of the Church and Sacred Scripture, you are basically telling your children that the Faith isn’t important, and chances are they will follow suit. And whatever you do, if you do nothing and “let them decide on their own,” you are essentially making the decision for them anyhow. This is a greater poverty than any material poverty.

* If an irregular marriage situation or anything else currently prevents you from receiving the Sacraments, talk to your parish priest or any other Catholic priest about the possibility of remedying the situation. Know, however, that the remedy won’t likely be reached by the time of the Baptism.

Choosing Godparents
When selecting godparents for your child, please remember that the godparents represent the faith of the parish community into which the child is being baptized.  Thus, the godparent should be a strong role model and witness to the life of a Catholic Christian committed in faith to stand with the parents of the child.  Furthermore, canon law requires that a candidate for Baptism (which inaugurates one’s membership in the Church community) should be sponsored by a baptized and confirmed member of the Catholic Church who is willing and able to help the child develop and grow in the Catholic Faith. If the godparent is married, he or she must be married validly (i.e., under the auspices of the Catholic Church). There must be at least one sponsor or godparent.  In the case where there are two sponsors, one must be male and the other female.  The maximum number of sponsors is two.  The minimum age for a baptized and confirmed Catholic to be a sponsor is sixteen (16) years of age.  A baptized Christian non-Catholic may not be a sponsor but may be a “Christian witness." Non-baptized persons may not officially act as a sponsor or a witness to a Baptism of a child in the Catholic Faith.


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