Sacrament of Baptism
“Go make disciples of all nations, and baptise them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Matthew 28: 19-20. The sacrament of baptism is the door to life and to the kingdom of God.
“Rite of Baptism”
The family of Immaculate Conception Parish congratulates you on the birth of your child and also welcomes your child as a new member of God’s family.
What Baptism does?
Through baptism, a person is freed from all sins, reborn as a child of God and, configured by Christ by a character that will last forever, becomes a member of Christ’s Body, the Church.
Scheduling a Baptism
Baptisms are normally held in English and are celebrated on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. Parents are asked to make the arrangements at least one month in advance.
Parents need to make an appointment with Fr. Rolando Yadao to discuss the date and to fill up the necessary information. So, in preparation for the sacrament of baptism, we ask that you attend to the following:
– Your own spiritual development as parents is essential, in bringing your child into the church community. -Through this sacrament your child is raised from the natural human condition to the dignity of adopted children of God in Christ, therefore, the faith of your child will grow and develop as he/she witnesses your catholic faith in action. Parents are the first and most important teachers of the faith.
– In the days ahead, remember to spend some time in daily prayer and spiritual reading, especially the New Testament gospel of Matthew chapter 3:13-17 or chapter 28:16- 20. Gospel of Mark 1:9-11. Luke 3:1-22.
– Please read the Baptismal ritual prior to the celebration.
– All families requesting baptism must be registered parishioners of Immaculate Conception Church.
– Those that are not registered need a letter of permission from the pastor of their own church.
– Parents are required to attend the baptismal preparation session. A non-Catholic parent does not need to make the profession of faith during the baptism if he or she does not share the Catholic faith. However, this parent, in requesting baptism for the child, must give permission for the child to be instructed and raise in the faith of the Church in which the child is baptised.
A God parent is like an angel that God wants for your child who will help to protect the God’s dignity of your baby.
The Godparents are technically spiritual parents for your child and supporters of the faith that is why it is so important that parents choose the right Godparents for your child.
The mission of the Godparent or sponsor is with the parents to present the child for baptism and help the baptised to lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism and to fulfil faithfully the obligations connected with it. A child must have at least one godparent, but may have one godfather and one godmother.
According to the Canon law of the Church, to be admitted to the role of a godparent, must follow:
– Is a baptized Catholic who has received the Eucharist and has been confirmed.
– Must be at least 16 years of age.
– Is a practicing Catholic who participates in the Sunday worship within the community.
– Gives good example of living their Catholic faith; therefore must be single or married BUT married in the Catholic Church, No CIVIL UNIONS cannot be admitted in the role as Godparent. If someone believes in Jesus Christ must believe that it is God that can bless your union in Holy Matrimony.
– Is willing to encourage the child to develop and grow in the Catholic faith.
– If there are two sponsors, one must be male and the other female.
– The two godparents do not necessarily have to be of the same marriage. If they are married it must be recognized as valid in the Catholic Church.
– Non-Christians, non Catholics or non-baptised persons may not serve in the role of Godparents or sponsors.
– A baptised Christian may serve as an official witness, it means that only participate in the rite of baptism, BUT a Witness is not a Godparent.
To be able to fully participate in the celebration we encourage parents and Godparents to receive the sacrament of reconciliation prior to the baptism.
If it has been a while since you last received the sacrament please feel free to discuss any concern individually with the priest at the baptismal preparation meeting.
Putting the Lord first in your life is part of our faith therefore; the attending of the Holy Eucharist each Sunday is expected.
Your presence is important for the grow of your faith and the faith of the community. Any further information regarding services please see the church bulletin.
Time, Offering, Photos and Videos
The baptism is usually celebrated outside Sunday mass except during the Easter season which is within mass. You are encouraged to attend the day of the baptism to 12 pm mass.
Please use the envelope provided in making your offering to the church. Checks must be on the order of Immaculate Conception Church.
Anyone interested in taking pictures or videos should speak to the priest prior to the baptism. Please be assured of our prayers for you and your family during this important faith event. We thank you for you cooperation and support. Adults interested in being baptized Catholic are asked to consult the “Becoming Catholic” section of the website. Faith Development.
HOW GODPARENTS CAN HELP?…
Just as children grow mentally and physically, they also go through stages in their spiritual development. Fr. John Westerhoff describes four stages of spiritual development.
1. EXPERIENCE FAITH (Infancy through Pre-school)
The foundation of faith are laid at this impressionable age when children are totally dependent on others. It is during this time that children begin to imitate the actions of their parents.
2. AFFILIATE FAITH (Childhood and early adolescence)
During this stage children’s faith continues to develop through association with their Catholic community. They learn by imitating adults and other children in the parish. They wake up the gift of faith and put it in practice reciting formal prayers, developing mental and reflection prayer, should learn to establish a personal and intimate time with God in the person of Jesus Christ. This stage it is very important for the young Catholic because receive great foundations of the Catholic Faith.
3. SEARCHING FAITH (Late adolescence and young adulthood)
During this stage teens and young adults begin to search for answers beyond the people in their families and their parish regarding matters of faith and reason. At this point the young person is already exposed to different ways of thinking, personalities, different faiths or cults that can lead them to raise questions regarding why others do not belief what they belief which creating a conflict in the faith development.
Some of those modern issues can be:
Why my friend has two fathers? Or why my friend’s parents are not married? Why it is sinful to have sex before marriage? Why abortion is wrong? These are some of the many questions that young people are facing today in the modern society that we are living and if their faith is not strong enough they can make really bad choices in their lives. The young Catholic start to asking themselves about:
– What they have been taught.
– They look for ways to test their own beliefs.
– They may try to experiment with other faiths or spiritualities.
– They may seem to reject everything that they experienced as children.
– They may upset family members, who don’t understand that this is a necessary stage in which the young person casts off a superficial childhood faith, and begins to develop a deeper more personal faith.
How a Godparent can help during this stage of faith development?
– Ask your Godchild if is struggling with questions or doubts of faith or personal life.
– Be always a good listener.
– Share your experience of questioning your faith and how it was eventually resolved.
– Be a good example of what it means to be Catholic.
– Go to Holy Mass together once in a while.
– Encourage your Godchild to keep a spiritual journal.
– Get involved in a parish project together maybe during Christmas time or Lent to do a work of charity for someone who is in need.
– Make sure that your Godchild knows that you care and will always be available.
– Do not stop praying for your Godchild.
4. OWNED FAITH (Adulthood)
During this stage adults internalize their beliefs and develop a strong, personal relationship with God and the Church that guides their lives, inspires their actions, and gives meaning and purpose to their existence telling themselves “this is what I believe and this is where I belong.”
At this point they must be completed a faith development and should be ready to start their own family and the cycle starts again. Here a Catholic must:
– Own their Catholic beliefs.
– Apply their Catholic values to their lives.
– Develop a strong, personal relationship with God.
– Take responsibility for their relationship with God.
– See beyond the,selves and understand the need to reach out to others.
– See the value of being part of a faith community.
– Must understand that the Catholic faith guides their lives, inspires their actions, and gives a sense of meaning and purpose to their existence.
How a Godparent can help during this stage of faith development?
– Continue to be presence in your Godchild’s life, in good times and bad times.
– Celebrate the joys or personal life and spiritual life.
– Be at the wedding or the celebration of your Godchild’s and Baptism of his or her children.
– Continue to affirm your Godchild’s faith.
– Never stop praying for your Godchild.
Today must young parents because of the complicated, materialistic and busy lifestyle that they are living “faith development” is non-important or mean less that perhaps the social development.
The Catholic Church invites to all parents to reflect, pray and ask God for guidance before they choose who will be the Godparents for their child. The role of the Godparents is fundamental here for the development of the child spirituality. It is very sad to see that when children come to Religious Education most of them do not even recognize the basis of our faith like making the sign of the cross, or how we are supposed to behave in church, or how we pray to God, what are the symbols or gestures we use during our Liturgical celebrations.
MEANING OF BAPTISM FOR CATHOLICS
When I receive a call to schedule a baptism I pray to God that the parents will understand what really are asking the Catholic Church for. Baptism like any other sacrament is a gift from God to the parents and to the whole Christian World. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tell us that Baptism Is: Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift….We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship. (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, oratio 40,3-4). When I meet with the parents I try to inform the parents the real meaning of baptism because sometimes they just approach the priest and see this holy sacrament as something else that they have to do or perhaps because their parents ask them to do that as part of their tradition and not because really want to be part of a faith community founded in the person of Jesus Christ.
Before the baby is born most parents make wonderful planes for the children, such like start saving money for the best school, maybe getting the child into an academy for sports or art. Everything that parents can do to prepare their children for life is the foundation of their future lives. But, it is also important that parents prepare their children not only for the intellectual aspects but also for spiritual aspects.
Today, our society is changing so fast and during those changes children are been exposed to many things that they are not prepare which can lead them to have a future life without meaning, without moral values and without dignity. That is why it is extremely important that your child is also prepare to face a society that know Jesus Christ, who through His message they will be able to find real meaning in their lives.
If your child know Jesus’ message will be aware of the dangers of the soul such as pornography, alcohol, drugs, expose to STD’s because of early exposition to their sexuality, early pregnancy that can lead into abortion, aggressive behaviours. These are only some of the most common problems that they can be exposed. Parents not only need to feed, buy clothes, send them to school, keep them busy.
Parents are the first teachers in all aspects of the life of the child and faith is one of them. The Church invites the parents and the Godparents to be the first witnesses of the faith of your child, and fulfill their role as true educators. If you find yourself as single parent you are not the exception even more you have a reason to teach the truth and guide your child for the right path and only with the help of God you can success your goal as parent.
The day of the baptism of your baby God not only welcome your child a new member also give tremendous tools to fight evil and always try to do good.
“Baptism gives the baptised sanctifying grace, the grace of justification; enabling them to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him through the theological
virtues; giving them the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit; allowing them to grow in goodness through the moral virtues” (Catechism 1266).
Our parish welcomes you and your child a new member and also invite to be an active participant of the news of salvation in the name of Jesus Christ. Do not waste this opportunity and say yes to God’s family.
“Teach the child of today so you do not have to punish the adult of tomorrow.”
Contact: Deacon Earle – 201-863-4840