Congratulations on the gift of your beautiful child! What a mystery of God’s love you behold in this tender soul!!
As you come to the Church for the Sacrament of Baptism, you seek the greatest gift you could give your child, the gift Jesus Christ promised his believers: the fullness of life, happiness, eternal life in the communion of God’s love. Baptism is the gateway to sacramental life and grace in the Church. It frees one from sin and fills them with the saving grace of Jesus Christ. The soul filled with grace enlightens the whole person, who becomes a disciple of Christ.
The Church asks that there be a “well-founded hope that the child be brought up in the Catholic religion,” and that the parents, the first teachers of their children, “are to be properly instructed in the meaning of this sacrament and the obligations which are attached to it” (Canon 850ff). We are honored and humbled to be part of this sacred undertaking. We joyfully offer you our prayerful and pastoral support.
Thank you for sharing the light of Christ with your children. May His light and warmth fill your home.
FR. STEPHEN S. DONOHOE, PASTOR
For further assistance contact Baptism@stcatherinenorwood.org or 781-762-6080 X-17
Receiving the Sacrament of Baptism
Our Parish Community is very pleased that you desire your child to become a child of God through the sacrament of Baptism. The information contained on this page is meant to help you prepare for your baby’s Baptism and to address many of the common questions parents have as they prepare for baptism.
The Importance of Baptism — Baptism is the gateway to life and to the kingdom of God. In baptism those who hear the Gospel are conformed to Christ and share in the life of grace offered to all through the Paschal mystery. Baptism is necessary for salvation because it was commanded by Christ and because without it one cannot receive the other sacraments. The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are “reborn of water and the Spirit.” (CCC 1257)
What Baptism Does — The sacrament of Baptism is the first sacrament which we receive; it is the beginning of our life with Christ. Through Baptism, a person is freed from all sins, reborn as a child of God and becomes a member of Christ’s Body, the Church. When we are Baptized into Christ, we are Baptized into His death, and therefore into His burial and resurrection as well. Through baptism we are united with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection; and being united with Him in this manner we rise to new life, leaving behind our old self and rising to a new.
Choosing of a Name — Christian tradition is that a child will be named after a Christian saint, who will be a patron of the person throughout life. If the child’s first name is not a saint’s name, then a middle name should be a saint’s name. A couple may choose to add a patron saint’s name at the baptism if the child’s birth certificate has non-Christian names.
The Commitments Parents Make — Parents first ask the Church for Baptism and then make the sign of the Cross on the child’s forehead, claiming the child for Christ. Next, they publicly acknowledge that they clearly understand that in asking for their child to be baptized, they are accepting the responsibility of training the child in the practice of the faith. The Church teaches that there must be a well-founded hope that the infant will be brought up in the Catholic religion. They reject Satan, all his evil works and empty promises, and profess their faith in God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church and what the Church teaches. These actions before God and others are immense and must be done not just with the lips but with life itself.
Godparents — “For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized on the road of Christian life.” The mission of the godparent or sponsor is with the parents to present the child for Baptism and help the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with Baptism. A child must have at least one godparent, but may have one godfather and one godmother. According to the universal law of the Church, to be admitted to the role of a godparent, a person must be Catholic, at least 16, have received the Sacrament of Confirmation, not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized, and lead a moral life in harmony with the faith and the role of a godparent. A person who does not practice the faith and keep the commandments is not capable of being a sponsor, because that person is not practicing the faith in which as a godparent he or she must help to raise your child. If parents are unable to find a qualified godparent from among their family and friends, the Church will provide one.
A non-Catholic Parent — a non-Catholic parent does not need to make the profession of faith during the baptism if he or she does not share the Catholic faith. However, this parent, in requesting Baptism for the child, must give permission for the child to be instructed and raised in the faith of the Church in which the child is baptized.
Donation — It is customary for the family of the child to be Baptized to present a financial gift to the Church according to their means, in gratitude to God for the birth and spiritual rebirth of the child, and in order to foster the continued growth and work of the Church God founded. These contributions go entirely to the Church. If the family would like to give a special gift to the priest, they may, but it is not expected that they do so.
For adults needing the Sacrament of Baptism or older children and teenagers needing the Sacrament of Baptism please contact our Pastoral Associate at 781-769-5354 ext. 273.
BAPTISM VIDEO IMPORT FATHER BARRON