Baptism

Baptism

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 infants, contact Fr. Timothy at 218-547-1054.

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.

 

The Role of Godparents

As Fr. Mike says. “You don’t have to be perfect to be a godparent! All you have to do is do your best to love Jesus, to love the Church, and to love this child.” At the same time, please note that there are some specific requirements for those to be considered as godparents. A godparent must be an active practicing Catholic, over 16, received your Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation, and have no impediments (e.g. Married, but not in the church).

If you have already asked someone to be a godparent please be sure to share this and the next video with them.

Fr. Mike on what it means to be a “practicing Catholic”:

During the Baptism preparation process we can address questions regarding godparents on a personal level, please be sure to contact us before making any decisions.

 

More on the Role of Godparents

Godparents are representatives of the Roman Catholic community who are willing and able to assist you in the religious upbringing of your child.

Godparents (sponsors) of infants and others preparing for baptism are committed Roman Catholics who are chosen by the parents or by the person to be baptized. They serve as role models and promise to assist in the religious formation of the child or adult.

Contrary to popular opinion, Godparents do not possess legal rights to care for your child should you become unable to do so. Nor do they assume legal custody of children in the event of the death of both parents. The role of a Godparent is not legal but spiritual. Godparents are people chosen by you, who will play an important role in the faith-life of your child. During the baptism liturgy, your Godparents will be asked to publicly profess their faith and will promise to assist you in the Christian upbringing of your son or daughter.

Consequently, it is important that the persons you choose be mature and deeply committed to living their Catholic faith. In order to assure this, church law proposes the following requirements for Godparents:

Usually, two persons are chosen by parents to assume the responsibility of Godparents. However, it is acceptable to simply choose one Godparent, or not have any. Godparents are usually asked to present a "sponsor letter" before the baptism that has been signed by their pastor, attesting that they are active members of the Catholic community. For Baptisms celebrated at Saint Mary Parish we ask that the Godparent(s) present their sponsor letter before the date of Baptism is scheduled. If this is not possible they are asked to participate in baptism prep meetings and conversations, along with the parents, with either the deacon or pastor of St. Mary Parish.

If only one Godparent is chosen, a non-Catholic Christian may be invited by you to participate as a "Christian Witness," in place of a second Godparent. The "Christian Witness" is invited to participate in the baptismal liturgy and religious upbringing of your child insofar as he or she is able. Of course, it is important that the person you choose be someone who you feel is deeply committed to his or her Christian faith.

Baptism is the beginning of your child's life in the church. It is our hope that the persons chosen by you at the font of Baptism will inspire and lead your child to a deep faith in God as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. If you have any questions or concerns concerning Godparents, feel free to discuss this with the deacon or priest preparing with you for the baptism of your child.

Some thoughts for further reflection

  • Godparents must be adults (at least 16 years of age).

  • They must be fully initiated members of the church, having received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist.

  • They must be regular participants in the worship and life of the parish.

  • If they are married, they must have entered into a marriage covenant recognized as valid by the church.

  • Above all else, they must in your estimation, be persons striving to live their lives consistently with the teachings of Jesus Christ who you feel would be excellent role models.

  • Are the people I'm considering as Godparents genuinely interested in the religious/spiritual upbringing of my child?

  • Do they have a good understanding of the role we are asking them to play in the life of my child?

  • Will they be a regular and active part of my child's life?

  • Are they willing to share and discuss their faith and values with us, and eventually with our children?

Click below to watch Reborn on Formed. Reborn explores the deeply personal power of Baptism, bringing to light the spiritual reality for parents and godparents and, most importantly, the child being baptized.

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