If you are contemplating Baptism for your child, the following guidelines will help you to make this step in faith and in the journey of the Church.
1. Preliminary Inquiry:
At least three months prior to the date of Baptism, you are asked to call or visit the parish office (241-7496) expressing your wish to have your child baptized. Please register your name, address, telephone number and e-mail if you have one.
This is a precious time for you and your family. With all the excitement surrounding the birth and baptism of a new baby, there is seldom time for much else. It is important however, that you spend some time together praying and reflecting on why you wish to present your child for baptism so that your celebration of the Sacrament will truly be a spiritually rewarding experience.
Baptism is a sacrament of faith, celebrated by those who have accepted the Risen Lord Jesus as the source of life and have joined the community of his followers, which we call the Church. Since earliest times, the Church has baptized the children of believers not because of their own faith, but because of the faith of the families into which they were born. We continue this practice today. Infants are baptized into the faith of their parents, their godparents and of the Christian community to which they belong.
It is up to us as parents, therefore, to share our faith with our children and to lead them in the development of their own personal faith. To a very great extent, their relationship with Christ and their practice of Christian living depends upon us.
The baptism of our children presents us with a wonderful opportunity to explore our own faith and our relationship with Christ and the Church into which we wish them to be baptized. We owe it to ourselves and to our children to enter into this process with a generous heart.
As part of the preparation for the Baptism, therefore, we might want to prayerfully consider how serious we are about living as Catholics and raising our children in the Catholic faith. To what extent do we make room for God in our lives? Are we trying to know Jesus better and love him as our brother and Lord. How often do we pray and attend Mass on Sundays?
If we answer "not at all" or "seldom" to any of these questions, it may be a good time for us to re-focus and make a sincere effort to take the faith dimension of our lives more seriously. As we become more deeply aware of God's love for us, we will find the strength to renew our own baptismal vows, and our commitment to Christ and to the Church.
We can be sure that the Lord Jesus will help us if we ask!
We are here to assist you in any way we can. Please do not hesitate to ask. In any event, we pledge our prayers for you and your family as you continue on your journey of faith.
Prayer: Lord, be close to our family. Guide us on our way to your kingdom and bring us to the joy of salvation. We ask this is the name of Jesus the Lord.
2. Personal Visit:
After the initial registration, the deacon who will perform the sacrament or someone from our baptismal team will meet personally with you. During this visit we will explain the parish program of preparation for Baptism and discuss its importance for you, your child and the entire parish community. This visit will afford us the opportunity to get to know each other, to fill out the necessary forms and to begin the process of discernment that will lead to the celebration of the Sacrament.
Prior to the visit, we ask that you reflect on the Sacrament of Baptism based on the attached reflection questions and send your written reflections by email a week ahead of the visit.
Prayer: Lord, you have called us into the glory of a new birth in Christ. Help us to grow in wisdom and love as we prepare to profess our faith in You.
3. The Celebration of Baptism
Infant Baptism will be celebrated in English at 2 p.m. in the Cathedral Church on specific Sundays throughout the year. Please contact the office for available dates. .
Prayer: Almighty God and Father, when the Spirit descended upon Jesus at His baptism in the Jordan, you revealed Him as your beloved Son. Keep us, your children born of water and the Spirit, faithful to our calling.
Each of the above is important and must be completed before the date of the child's Baptism.
Children cannot be baptized without the consent of at least one of the parents, or someone legally standing in their place.
Except in the case of necessity, the celebration of Baptism will take place in the parish church.
The usual church for the celebration of Baptism is the local parish church where the parents regularly worship. Parents who do not belong to the Cathedral parish, especially if you are from another diocese, may be asked to provide a letter from their local pastor giving permission for the baptism to take place at the Cathedral.
There must be reasonable hope that the child will be educated in the Catholic Faith.
Parents must choose at least one person to act as the child's godparent.
The godparent must be a Confirmed Catholic, at least 16 years of age, have the ability and the intention to fulfill the role, and be leading a lifestyle consistent with the Faith and the role that he or she is to fulfill. A person baptized in the Eastern Orthodox Church also qualifies as a godparent.
Neither the father nor the mother of the child may serve as godparent.
A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community (Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian or United) may be admitted only as a witness provided that there is at least one Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria.
Non-baptized persons may not serve as either godparents or witnesses.
May the blessings of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you and your family.
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The office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
La Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame/Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica 2013