Baptism is a sacrament that is critical to a life of faith. It is the “basis” of Christian life and the door to all the other sacraments. The Catechism calls baptism the “gateway to life in the Spirit.” Through baptism, the faithful receive “enlightenment,” or the light of faith, and, in turn, become a light of faith to others. (1213, 1215-1216)
If you are a parent who would like to have your child baptized, congratulations! The responsibility and wonder you sense is something we want to celebrate with you as you bring your child to the Church for the Sacrament of Baptism. Our parish family is very happy to have a new member already here or on the way—your child will bring new life to you and to our Church!
The decision to request baptism for a child is one of the most important steps that Christians take in their role as parents. As the words of the baptism liturgy indicate, by requesting baptism, “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” (Rite of Baptism #77).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that “sacraments are ‘power that come forth’ from the Body of Christ…they are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in his Body, the Church…they are ‘the masterworks of God’ in the new and everlasting covenant” (CCC #1116). Thus when people are baptized, they are baptized into Christ Jesus as Jesus is lived in the church. For that reason, parents must understand the importance of nourishing the faith of their baptized children within the community of the Catholic Church by active participation in the life and liturgy of the local parish.
During the baptismal ceremony, they promise to be the “prime teachers of their children in the ways of faith.” As in all things, it is by their own example of a lively faith that parents teach children the meaning of living the “newness of life” that is baptism. Before the actual baptism, parents are reminded of their duty to bring up their children as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor.
While Baptism is a beautiful gift that parents offer their children through the action of the church, it is also an awesome responsibility. Parents must, therefore, consider carefully this important moment in the faith life of their children as well as their own faith commitment to Jesus Christ and his Catholic Church.
Parents who wish to have their child baptized should first call the Parish Office at 760-744-1540 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, as soon as possible after the birth of the child. Parents are even encouraged to contact the Parish Office before the birth of their child to discuss baptism arrangements or raise any questions or concerns they might have regarding the sacrament and the preparation involved.