Holy 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 daughters and sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission (CCC 1213).
Baptism of Those Over 7 Years of Age
All unbaptized persons over seven years of age enter the Church through the "Restored Rite," known as the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). For more information, see the Becoming Catholic (RCIA) page.
Baptism of Infants
At St. Alphonsus, we want ever family that comes to the parish for baptism of their child to feel welcomed and prepared for this first step in their child's journey of faith. Because baptism is your child's introduction to the faith community, we celebrate most baptisms during one of our weekend Masses (with the exception of those during the season of Lent, and in some other circumstances). Families are welcome to invite extended family and friends to witness the baptism as well! We are happy to reserve pews for your family and any guests you may have.
Before we can schedule a date for baptism, we require parents to meet with a representative from our baptism preparation team. During this session, discussion will focus on the meaning and history of Christian baptism in the Catholic tradition, as well as canonical, diocesan and parish requirements. This is required for parents who have not had a child baptized at St. Alphonsus within the last five years.
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 - child or adult on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1255).
Sponsors should be carefully chosen as they will be examples of faith to the children they sponsor for entrance into the Christian community. Parents may choose one of the following options:
- Only one sponsor is needed.
- If there are two sponsors the sponsors should be one man and one woman. No more than two sponsors are permitted.
- A non-Catholic Christian may serve as a Christian Witness. Such an individual must be baptized Christian to do so and they should understand their role to encourage the child in the Catholic faith.
The Catholic Church has a few requirements for an individual to qualify to serve in this role. These requirements are:
- Has received all of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation.
- Be at least sixteen years of age.
- Be a practicing member of the Catholic Church.
Considerations for choosing a Godparent:
- The role of Godparent is not simply an honorific role but the individual should take an active role in helping to form your child in the Catholic Faith.
- Look for someone who truly lives the faith so that they may provide an example to your child that the faith is important to someone else beyond their parents.
- Ask an individual who will support you in your effort to nurture your child’s faith and who will build a special relationship with your child.
Scheduling a Baptism
Baptism dates may be scheduled once parents have attended the Baptism Preparation class and the Parish Ministry Center has received all required paperwork. Completed forms can be emailed, dropped off, or mailed to the Parish Ministry Center.