Baptism is the gateway to all the sacraments and must be received prior to the reception of any other sacraments. Baptism is to be conferred by the proper pastor only on his subjects in the parish church. An adult (anyone over the age of 14) who wishes to be baptized must attend the RCIA process, which is held every year. This program leads to the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at he Easter Vigil. Children (7 to 14 years of age) must also go through an age-appropriate catechetical process (RCIC), which leads to the celebration of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist at the Easter Vigil. This is mandated by the universal law of the Church.
For the baptism of children under the age of 7, the following is required:
- The parents must be registered and practicing members of the St. Agnes or Sacred Heart parish's. If they are new to the parish, they may present a letter from their previous parish attesting to the fact that they are practicing Catholics.
- The parents and godparents must attend the Baptismal Preparation Class, which is held on a regular basis.
- At least one sponsor must be a practicing Catholic who has received the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation & Eucharist) and is 16 years of age. If they are not members of our parish, then they must present a letter from their pastor stating that they are practicing Catholics and qualify to serve as sponsors.
- The pastor must have a grounded hope that the child will be brought up in the faith. This is determined by the faithfulness of the parents to the practice of the faith.
- Children of non-parishioners may be baptized as long as their parents have attended a pre-baptismal instruction and their proper pastor has given his permission. The same requirements for sponsor apply.