The Catechism of the Catholic Church tell us that “Baptism is the basis for the whole of Christian Life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the doors which gives access to other Sacraments.”(CCC#1213) When parents ask to have their child baptized, they are publicly committing themselves to “training their child in the practice of the faith by modeling for them how to keep God’s commandments by loving God and our neighbors.” (Rite of Baptism 77)
All those seeking the Sacraments of Baptism for children under the age of seven are required to attend a Baptism Workshop to further explore the teachings of the Church regarding Baptism and be made more aware of the blessings received through reception of this sacrament. Sponsors are encouraged to attend these workshops in order to become more fully prepared for their role in support of the child’s spiritual development. To be considered as a sponsor for Baptism, individuals must have fulfilled their responsibilities and obligations Church law requires: 1. Have received the Sacraments of Initiation, 2. If married, the marriage must be recognized by the Catholic church. 3. Attend Mass and receive Communion regularly, 4. Be an active parishioner for at least the past three months.
INFANT to AGE 6:
God’s gift of new life is always something to celebrate! Your friends, neighbors and parish family congratulate you as we join in immersing your child in the Church, the Body of Christ. When your child is Baptized, he or she will be given the gift of divine life from God, our Father, and called a child of God!
Baptism strengthens us; it helps us avoid temptation and grow in holiness. New life in Christ begins at Baptism and sets us on a life-long journey. We can discover God’s will and calling as we learn to obey His commands. A child cannot do this alone. They must have the help, example and guidance of parents, godparents and the Catholic community we call parish!
Call our Parish Office at (716) 834-4282 to register for the Pre-Baptism class. Sessions are usually held the last Tuesday of the month at 7 PM. Following completion of the class, a Baptism date can be set!
CHILDREN AGES 7 – 17:
At this age, we refer to children as being at “catechetical age” or the age of reason. So prior to Baptism they would attend our Generations of Faith Religious Education Program as well as a few separate sessions for Baptism preparation. There are usually a few kids in this situation every year. Please call Carolyn Prefontaine, our Director of Family Faith Formation at 716-949-8188 to sign up and be sure to mention the need for Baptism preparation.
Parents’ Role in Faith Journey
The primary responsibility for training/raising children in the Catholic Faith rests upon parents. Our parish is delighted to support and assist you in that role. The celebration of Baptism is a commitment by godparents and parents for that task. The Catholic life calls us to Sunday Eucharist as our regular place of gathering in worship!
At least one parent (preferably both) needs to attend the Baptism Preparation class prior to the sacrament.
BAPTISM of ADULTS (18 and older):
When a person has never been Baptized, or has been Baptized in another Christian faith tradition and wishes to enter the Catholic Church, we offer the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (or RCIA). This process begins with a period of inquiry/questioning, then moves to more teaching and sharing. The Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) are celebrated at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday.
A team of parishioners eagerly share their love of the church during weekly RCIA gatherings. Topics include Scripture, Liturgy, Sacraments and other aspects of the Catholic faith. RCIA begins in September, and attendance at 9:00 AM Mass is followed by the faith-sharing and growth sessions. They usually last one hour.
If you (or someone you know) are interested in the process, please contact. Sr. Lucette, our Parish Pastoral Associate, at 834-4282 ext. 403, or Marguerite Mullins at 835-0900.
It’s helpful to know the church’s requirements for being a Godparent/Sponsor prior to asking someone; this could save some difficulty or embarrassment.
A Godparent must be, by Church law:
-sufficiently mature for the role
-a practicing Catholic, (attends Mass regularly) fully initiated (Baptized, Confirmed and received Eucharist) and at least 16 years of age
-able to obtain a letter of recommendation from his/her parish
-if married, the marriage MUST be sacramental/church wedding
Ideally, both Godparents should be practicing Catholics. However, in some situations a non-Catholic sponsor acts as a Christian Witness (for example, an Episcopalian who lives a faithful Christian example). Note that at least ONE Godparent must be Catholic!
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:
To be a sponsor (Godparent) for Baptism, individuals must fulfill the responsibilities and obligations Church law requires:
1) Have received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist)
2) If married, marriage must be recognized by the Catholic Church (a sacrament)
3) Attend Mass and receive communion regularly.
4) Be a registered in a parish for at least three months.
A registered parishioner is one who is enrolled on their parish census files and supports their Sunday offertory.