Sacrament of Baptism

Overview

Baptism is the sacrament whereby the Christian community welcomes and begins the initiation of new members. In the water bath of blessed water, the anointing with fragrant chrism, the clothing in new white garments and the reception of the Light of Christ, new members join the life of the Catholic Christian Community. In the renunciation of sin, profession of faith, and promise of a faithful witness to the Christian life, and, with God-parents at their side, parents present their new family member(s) asking that they be formally admitted to the life of the church. Or, perhaps, someone of understanding age presents themselves for membership.

Baptism At Saint Anthony

Through the Sacrament of Baptism, Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, frees us from sin, gives us new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and joins us to His people, the Church. Father Will, Deacons Jim and Paul, and F. Scott will share in the ministry of baptizing children in our parishes.

To illustrate the paschal (Christ’s death and resurrection) character of Baptism, it is recommended that the Sacrament be celebrated at the Easter Vigil or on a Sunday, when the Church commemorates the Resurrection of the Lord. Our Collaborative parishes will ordinarily schedule the celebration of Baptisms according to the following schedule:

  • First and Third Sunday of the month at 1:00 p.m. at Saint Anthony Parish
  • Second and Fourth Sunday of the month at 12:00 p.m. at Saint Mary Parish
  • Fifth Sunday of the month (as needed in either parish)
  • In extraordinary circumstances, we will strive to meet the needs of parents presenting a child for Baptism.

Preparation of parents and godparents presenting a child for Baptism is important. During this time of the pandemic, we are using the online version of the Ascension Press preparation program, Belonging: Baptism in the Family of God. Our parishes are making this available at no cost to the parents.

Please contact Father Will (fatherwill@christbythesea.net) for additional information about Baptism.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Baptism (1275-1284)

Christian initiation is accomplished by three sacraments together: Baptism which is the beginning of new life; Confirmation which is its strengthening; and the Eucharist which nourishes the disciple with Christ’s Body and Blood for his transformation in Christ.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19-20).

Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. In accordance with the Lord’s will, it is necessary for salvation, as is the Church herself, which we enter by Baptism.

The essential rite of Baptism consists in immersing the candidate in water or pouring water on his head, while pronouncing the invocation of the Most Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ.

Baptism imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual sign, the character, which consecrates the baptized person for Christian worship. Because of the character Baptism cannot be repeated (cf. DS 1609 and DS 1624).

Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, can be saved even if they have not been baptized (cf. LG 16).

Since the earliest times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom.

With respect to children who have died without Baptism, the liturgy of the Church invites us to trust in God’s mercy and to pray for their salvation.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he has the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pours water on the candidate’s head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.

Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is … a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Paul VI, MF 66).

Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with his Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints.

Other Quotes

“Through Baptism each child is inserted into agatering of friends who never abandon him life or death.  ….This group of friends , this family of God, into which thye chid is now admitted, will always accompany him, even on days of suffering and in lige’s dark nights: it will give him consolation, confort and light.”

— Pope Benedict XVI