Infant Baptism: The First Step in a Journey of Faith
Our next Parent Session is Sunday, May 21, 2017, 12:45 p.m. (after the 11:30 a.m. Mass) in Church
What is Baptism?
It is an entrance into a community of believers in Jesus Christ. It joins Christ to us and us to him. We become “little Christs” in the world and through it all Original Sin is removed.
Originally adult baptism was the norm and it would take place at the Easter Vigil in the presence of the bishop. The road to baptism was often many years long.
What does Baptism do that is so important?
It is a sacrament – a sign and instrument of God’s life in us -- and brings us into a new relationship with God through the Holy Spirit.
-It is a Sacrament of Initiation into the Church and the family of Christ.
-It is initiation into the Communion of Saints. St. Paul calls the baptized “the holy ones.” Through Christ we are united with all the baptized who have come before and will come after us.
- It is initiation into the Body of Christ. Baptism joins Christ to us and us to him. St. Paul says, “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.” He also says, “For all of you who are baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither slave nor free person, neither Jew or Greek, there is not male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
We become part of the death and resurrection of Christ. In baptism we die to our old life and are reborn in the new.
What about Infant Baptism?
In about the Fourth century, infant baptism became the norm. A child cannot answer the call to live the commitment of baptism, but parents can and do answer for him or her. It is God taking the initiative. In the Rite of Baptism parents are asked to accept the responsibility of training their children in the faith with the godparents to help them.
Whom Should We Choose for Godparents?
You want someone who will be a good role model for your child – a person of faith. They are there to help the parents in their blessed task of raising the children in the faith. You need to choose only one person as sponsor, but if you choose two, one must be a man and the other a woman to mirror parenthood as godparents. At least one of the two must be a fully initiated, practicing Catholic. This means that he or she has received Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation and has no reason that would cause him or her to be outside of the Church. If the other is not Catholic, then he or she must be a baptized and practicing Christian person of faith. This person is known as a Christian Witness.
Why all the symbols?
We are a multi-sensory people. God knows this and uses symbols having meaning deeper than mere words to speak to our souls.
· Water brings us new life, quenches thirst, cleanses. It also erodes and floods. Sometimes it wipes away the old and brings the new as in the annual flooding of the Nile River. That is what it does for us. It wipes away the connection to Original Sin and opens the door to a new life in Christ.
· Oil is our connection to Christ’s anointing as priest, prophet and king. The word “Christ” means “anointed one.” We are called to live our three-fold vocation we share with Christ. It is the same oil used at Confirmation.
· Candle represents the light of Christ in the world. We “pass the torch” to the newly baptized and tell them that they must become the light for the world.
· White Garment stands for purity. It reminds us that we are clothed in Christ.
· Community is sometimes overlooked and we forget the significance of it. We are all to be Christ in the world.
What Do We Do at St. Dominic Parish?
· Initial Contact – We ask parents to call, Theresa Eagan, Coordinator of Religious Education at (513) 471-7741 ext.481 to discuss the process in our parish and schedule a date.
· Parental Preparation – We ask parents and godparents to attend a session in the Church to discuss faith, reflect on their own baptism, look at the history and theology of the sacrament and look at ways to pass faith on to our children. Please call to let us know that you will be coming to a session. Our next session is Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 12:45 p.m. (after the 11:30 a.m. Mass) in the church. We are planning to have the sessions on a quarterly basis.
· Baptism Schedule – Baptisms take place on the first two Sundays of each month (with the exception of Lent) at 1:00 P.M. This is after the 11:30 P.M. Mass. If you would like a Baptism during the Mass, call 471-7741 x 481 to schedule it. We limit each week to four families.
Theresa Eagan, CRE
(513) 471-7741 ext. 481