“Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213)
Baptism of Adults
Please see R.C.I.A. under Religious Education
Baptism of Children
The Church requires “that there be a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the catholic religion.” (Can. 868.1) In light of this obligation, we require that parents requesting baptism of their child be active and registered members of Holy Ghost for at least three months. If they are not active parishioners and wish to register in the parish, we will wish to observe their faithful practice of the faith for at least thee months, before we consider baptism of the child.
Baptism Preparation Class
We require all parents and godparents to attend Sacramental Preparation Classes. Once you have called the rectory to plan for the baptism of your child, we will have someone contact you to see up a special appointment for Preparation Classes. These classes are usually done one on one with each family and are conducted by a couple who are well prepared to teach and assist in Baptismal preparation.
At least one godparent is required. There may be two, but they must be one man and one woman.
“For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents’ help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized – child or adult – on the road of Christian life. Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium). The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given atBaptism.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1255)
Most people have a false understanding of what a godparent truly is. I am sure you have heard it said, that if anything happens to the parents, the godparents will raise the child. But is that what being a godparent is all about? No, in fact, the role of the godparent is to be much more than someone to take care of the children if something happens. In fact, that may not even be their role.
So what is a godparent? A godparent is to be a witness, an inspiration, a rock solid example of what it means to be a Roman Catholic in today’s world. That means that the person must be a Catholic not only in name but by the life they lead each and every day.
Most people do not know the Church’s requirements for a person who is to undertake the role of godmother or godfather. In the Code of Canon Law, a book with the laws that govern and guide the life of the Catholic Church, there are specific regulations regarding sponsors (godparents) for the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation.
The requirements for godparents are:
- be, not less than sixteen years of age.
- be a Catholic who has received the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
- be registered and active members of their parish.
- be living in conformity with Catholic morals and in good standing with the Catholic Church (if married, married according to the laws of the Church).
- may not be the mother or father of the person to be baptized.
- Finally, they must obtain a Sponsor Certificate, attesting to their fulfilling the stated requirements, from the parish in which they are a registered member.
Before asking someone to take on the role of a sponsor, please be sure they fulfill the requirements of the Church. This will save the person from embarrassment and the family from being disappointed. The Priest has a responsibility before God and in justice to be sure these requirements are fulfilled!
To schedule a baptism, please call the rectory office.