Baptism

"For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart." ~Samuel 1:27

‚ÄčThe Sacrament of Baptism joyfully celebrates the entrance of new members into our Catholic Christian community and in the Body of Christ, and fully reforms and proclaims the baptized as a child of God.

To Register for Baptism Preparation Sessions, click here.

Baptisms will be scheduled once all forms and classes are completed. If your child’s baptism is an emergency, please contact the Parish Office immediately at 410-822-2344.

Baptisms are scheduled on the first and third Sunday of every month, except during Advent and Lent. Schedule changes may be necessary dependent on the church calendar - e.g. First Holy Communion, Confirmation, etc.

If your child is 7 years or older, please see more information about RCIA for Children.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be a godparent?

The godparents are the link between the family and the Church. In addition to representing the Christian community, godparents help parents to bring up their children in the faith by their witness and prayers. To be a godparent is a privileged service in the Church and a special ministry.

Church law (Canon Law #872-874) says that he/she be at least sixteen years of age, have received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) and lead a life of faith in harmony with the duty he/she is undertaking. The godparent may not be one of the parents of the person being baptized.

Only one godparent is required for Baptism and a maximum of two (one male and one female) can be recorded in the baptismal record. When pastoral circumstances warrant it, one of these sponsors may be a baptized non-Catholic Christian as a witness of the Baptism.

Godparents are required to obtain a Letter of Eligibility from the parish they belong to and register that letter at the infant/child's church of Baptism.

Why does the rite talk about sin, especially when a baby is being baptized?

Sin does exist in the world. Of that we have no doubt. Scripture tells the story of Adam and Eve. From the beginning of human history, people have rejected God's free offer of love and grace. Sin still marks human history. Children are born into this human condition. They, as all of us, are affected by the sinful world in which we live.

This Church teaching of original sin (Catechism, #388-389) describes the human condition of being born as part of an imperfect people where the effect of sin in the world, from the very beginning, cannot escape us. The human tendency of selfishness, of “me first,” is ever present.

There is something going on inside us that, as St. Paul said, makes us choose the very thing we do not want to choose (Romans 7:15). It is not that we are born evil but that we are born with the possibility of choosing evil.

The reality concerning original sin teaches that every human being needs the salvation offered by Christ.

What the Rite of Baptism recognizes is that we need God's grace and one another's support and witness in our Catholic community in this lifelong task of being healed of this tendency. On our own we can't make it. (Catechism, #396-409)

Why does my Parish have a class for parents and godparents before baptism?

Children are baptized in the faith of the Church: of parents, godparents, the local parish, the Church throughout the world, the saints. Sometimes the sense of the Church becomes a faint backdrop to what is seen as primarily a private family event.

Thus, parishes bring parents and godparents together to discuss and pray with each other-looking at the vast reality of what Baptism means for them, for their child, for the parish, and for the Church.

Because this is so important, parent sessions were mandated by the new Rite of Infant Baptism in 1969, immediately after the Second Vatican Council. The Church assists the parents in many ways, but especially to help them see this big connection: Baptism connects us *for life* to a world-wide family that gives us privileges and responsibilities.

Why are baptisms most often at Sunday Mass?

It is for the same reason that Baptisms are often celebrated at Sunday liturgies: so that the larger parish community can be present. When a new baby enters a family, the life of every member is changed! It is very similar in our Christian family. Those who are already part of our Church family are affected by this brand new member and have responsibilities: they are called to be witnessed, to share their faith, to guide him or her in the way of Jesus, to offer support in difficult times, to share prayer and worship, and to always set a good example.

Welcoming each new member, therefore, is the responsibility of all those who have been baptized. It is not a private affair.

 Linda SteinmillerRite of Baptism for ChildrenMrs. Linda Steinmiller
Christian Formation
Director of Religious Education
410-822-6581 x171
lsteinmiller@ssppeaston.org