The Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other Sacraments.
Infant Baptism (infants and children under the age of seven) is the normative way to begin the initiation of children into the Church.
Parents should (los padres deben):
- Contact their parish as soon as possible after the birth of their child;
- Bring the child’s birth certificate;
- Parents are required to attend Baptismal preparation presentation.
Only one Godparent is required for Baptism. The Godparent (sponsor):
- Be designated by the parents or the one who takes their place.
- Have completed the sixteenth year.
- Be a practicing Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the sacrament of the Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken.
- If married, is in a valid Catholic marriage.
- Not bound by any canonical penalty.
- Not be the mother of the father of the one to be baptized.
- Complete the Baptism Sponsor Covenant form.
Adults seeking full initiation into the Catholic Church, enter the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Their formation prepares them to receive all three initiation sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Rather than compressing the stages of conversion into a single ritual associated with the moment of baptism, the RCIA process is supported by four periods of instruction and the celebration of three liturgical rites. The RCIA process ideally extends through a complete liturgical year to allow sufficient time for instruction in the truths of the faith and Christian life.
Adults baptized in another faith tradition are also part of the RCIA process.
Adults baptized Catholic but who have not received instruction also are part of the RCIA process.
Persons in the RCIA process are required to have a Godparent/Sponsor. The qualifications for the Godparent/ Sponsor are the same as listed in the Infant Baptism section. They will also need to complete a Godparent/ Sponsor covenant form. Contact the parish nearest to you to inquire about the RCIA process. If additional help is needed in locating an RCIA process, contact the Office of Religious Education and Formation.