Baptism of Children Under the Age of 7
Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door through which we enter in order to receive the other sacraments.
Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as sons and daughters of God. We become members of Christ and are incorporated into the Church. Through this sacrament we are made sharers in the Church’s mission. CCC 1213
Welcome to St. John’s we are glad you are considering us as the spiritual home for your family. Our hope for your family during the Baptismal process of your child is two fold: first, our hope is that you would get to know other Catholic parents as they, too, come to the Church for the sacrament of Baptism and begin to nurture faith into their family. Our second hope is that you learn something more about the Sacrament of Baptism, it’s origins and the signs and symbols of the Rite itself.
As with the preparation for any sacrament, it is a process. When you are ready you may begin…
- Fill out Registration Form
- Attend a class or meet with the Director
- Fill out legal paperwork for records
Once all 3 steps are completed, you may register for an upcoming communal Rite of Baptism. Our suggestion is to complete the first 3 steps prior to the birth or adoption of your child. It can be more difficult to juggle class between the arrival of your little one and the date you desire Baptism. The office will need about 1 month to process the information.
First Step: We need to know that you are interested in Baptism for your child. Please fill out the Registration Form. This will begin your process with us. Someone from the office will then contact you via email or phone to follow up with any additional information that may be needed to confirm your class date.
It would be good for you to check out the Baptism Requirements document here. This will help you with some initial questions you may have, like, who can be a sponsor/godparent, etc.
Second Step: Either attend a baptism class or meet with the Director of Discipleship and Mission.
As Church law requires, parents and sponsors need to be properly instructed in the meaning and obligations of the sacrament (Canon 851). There must also be a founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Faith. (Canon 868)
We accomplish this by offering a relaxed environment where you can get to know other couples and find out more about the Sacrament of Baptism. (If you have been to our class here at SJB within the last 3 years you can meet directly with the Director of Discipleship and Mission to fill out the legal paperwork.)
Our Baptism prep class sessions are offered on the 1st Monday of each month throughout the year in room 210 from 7:00-8:30 pm. Our facilitator will use segments from the Reborn series as the class content. In preparation for your class, we ask you to view the first video online called “A New Creation”. To watch the video please log into formed.org with our Parish Code JBB6WB. Create your own personal account to gain access and view the video. You can search Reborn and it will be one of the options. The opening discussion will be based on this video. Please view it before you come to class. You will view the 2nd video and discuss it as well.
We prefer both parents attend the Baptism Prep class, but we realize important things can get in the way. To make this more feasible, childcare is provided. Please contact Jodie email@example.com to reserve your spot. Sponsors and/or godparents are highly encouraged to come to the class with parents. If they are not local, they can create a login to watch the videos online. There is one video in the series specifically for godparents called “The Gift of Godparents More than Gifts and Cards”.
Third Step: As part of the class or during your meeting with the Director, you will fill out legal documentation regarding the details we need for your child’s baptismal record. If your child is not born at the time of the class, you may fill out as much of the paperwork as you can and then email Jodie with the additional details at firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot move forward with the Baptism without this information. On the legal documentation you will put your selected Baptism date. There are limited spots available.
* Parents must choose an appropriate godparent for their child. Only one godparent is needed but two may be chosen.
*One godparent must be a practicing Catholic and needs to be at least 16 years of age, confirmed in the Catholic Church, actively participating in their faith and have no impediment that keeps them from fulfilling their role as godparent. One common impediment is marriage outside the Catholic Church.
* The second person can be an additional Catholic godparent with the same criteria as stated above. He or she can also be a person of another Christian faith who stands as a witness (Canon 874) in addition to one godparent.
*If a godparent cannot be present at the Baptism, a proxy may stand in for them.
What’s in a name?
At a human level, one of the first and most long lasting gifts, or burdens, parents give to their child is their name. A person’s name is an icon of the person. God calls each one of us by name. Everyone’s name is sacred. The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of dignity for the one who bears it.
A baptismal ceremony begins with the questions to the parents, “What name do you give your child?” This name is given before God, the Church, and your family and friends. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states, the child’s name and God’s name are thereby eternally linked. The sacrament itself is conferred, the grace if given at the words “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” In Baptism God’s name sanctifies us and makes us holy and, in turn, the Christian receives his/her name from the Church. It can be the name of a church recognized saint, or, we hope that through your child, a new saint name will be born.
A saint is a person who was a faithful disciple of Jesus and lived a life of exemplary fidelity heroic virtue. Choosing a saint name for your child’s name or choosing a patron saint for your child provides them a person in heaven who will be a friend to your child and will be dedicated to praying for them throughout their entire lives. It also can be an opportunity for your child to have another role model in living out the Christian faith.
(referenced CCC2156 and 2158)