The Great Undertaking of Baptism
In the Baptismal Rite, the priest asks the child’s parents this question:
“You have asked to have your child baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training your child in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?”
That may be a difficult question to answer, especially for first time parents. There are so many new responsibilities with a child that sometimes it is overwhelming to consider how to meet all the child’s needs. Because our priests have a responsibility for determining the parents’ readiness for the celebration of the sacrament, we invite you to really reflect on what Baptism means to you and how you will teach your child about Jesus Christ. Contemplating your child’s Baptism will also help you to reflect on how you are living out your baptismal responsibilities and sharing in the faith life of the Church. Some questions to ask yourself:
- What does my baptism mean to me?
- Do I participate in Mass to worship God every week?
- What is my involvement in the parish?
- How will I grow in my faith so to pass on the faith to my child?
- What are some practical ways I will teach my child about the Catholic faith?
Selecting Godparents for Your Child
Many times parents inquire as to whom should serve as godparents for their child. Being a godparent is not just an honor given to a good friend or relative. It implies that the person has a real appreciation of the Catholic faith, a practice of the same, and a sense of responsibility toward the child and parents. Church law requires a sponsor/godparent to be at least 16 years of age, fully initiated (has received Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist), and is a registered and participating Catholic at a Catholic parish. While it is common practice to have two sponsors/godparents, only one is required for Baptism. Oftentimes a family requests a person who is a member in good standing in a Christian church to serve as a godparent. Along with the Catholic sponsor/godparent, this person may serve as a Christian Witness for the child. Please note: because the Catholic sponsor/godparent is one who leads a life in harmony with the faith, former Catholics who have joined other Christian churches, Catholics who no longer practice their Catholic faith or those who have been baptized Catholic but have not received Eucharist and/or Confirmation cannot serve as either a sponsor/godparent or Christian witness.
Catholic godparents are to complete the Godparent Form and return it to Greg Henkel at the parish office.
Baptism Preparation Session
Even though parents are the primary religious educators of their children, our parish shares in the responsibility of forming children in the Catholic faith by offering faith formation programs from kindergarten through grade 12. We begin our commitment by offering a Baptism preparation session in which both parents (and godparents, if possible) are required to attend the session. To register for this Baptism class, please complete the following form and then contact Greg Henkel at email@example.com or 392-4711 x5.
Parents who have had children previously baptized at St. Vincent de Paul, please contact Greg Henkel.