Holy 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. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission.
For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is the first step in a lifelong journey of commitment and discipleship. Whether we are baptized as infants or adults, baptism is the church's way of celebrating and enacting the embrace of God in His family.
The Rite of Baptism for Children places the emphasis and the importance of faithfulness on the parents. Parents who ask to have their children baptized are instructed that "you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith." That word practice is crucial; it calls for Christian modeling on the part of parents. Parents are the first teachers in the faith.
Children learn their faith by experiencing Christianity at home. The "domestic church" prepares them for the local and global Church. It is in the home that kids first learn basic trust, which is the foundation of faith. Without the experience of faith, hope and commitment in the home, children will not be able to know and understand the larger church context. During the baptismal preparation process, we help the family discern their desire and commitment to teaching their children and continuing this foundation of faith.
Additionally, baptism happens not only to the individual, but also to the body of Christ, which is the Church. For this reason, we celebrate baptism in the Christian assembly, with the community present and actively participating. It is the Holy Spirit community who is welcoming the new members, journeying with them, providing models for them, supporting and nourishing them.
There are several steps prior to celebrating your child’s baptism, which includes an interview, registration, a preparatory class, Rite of Welcome and finally the baptism itself. First, parents must conduct an interview with the baptismal team member. Godparents are welcome but not required to attend. The purpose of this meeting is to get to know your family, to discern your desire for bringing the child into the faith and to learn about the logistics of the process. The registration form can be completed at time of the baptismal preparation interview.
Afterwards, the parents must attend a 90-minute class given by members of the baptismal team to deepen the family’s understanding of the sacrament. Sponsors are also required to attend the class.
After the interview and preparatory class, the parents, godparents and child will then celebrate the Rite of Welcome during a mass prior to the actual baptism. This usually occurs approximately 1-2 weeks before the baptism. The purpose of this rite is to welcome the child into the faith community and is therefore celebrated at one of the regular weekend masses. Finally, upon completion of these previous steps, the baptism itself is celebrated either privately or as part of a group baptism.
Contact the parish office for more information or to schedule the baptism.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does the family have to be members of the parish in order to baptize their child here?
A. No. You may baptize your children at St Julie’s even if you are not currently members. However, for the future faith formation and discipleship of your child, we encourage you to attend mass regularly and to share actively in the life of the parish.
Q. How old should the child be?
A. The Rite of Baptism for Children is celebrated for children ages 0 to 6. If your child is older, he/she would participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) process.
Q. Do the parents and godparents have to be Catholic?
A. At least one of the parents has to be a fully initiated Catholic. Namely, they must have celebrated the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist. At least one godparent must also be fully initiated into the Catholic Church. The other godparent does not have to be.
Q. What is the fee?
A. Private baptisms are $100. Group baptisms are $50. The payment is due prior to the celebration.
Q. What is the difference between private versus group baptism?
A. If you choose a group baptism, you have to abide by the scheduled dates for group baptisms. There are at most 8 children at a group baptism. For private baptisms, you must check if the church and priest are available.
Q. Are we allowed to take photographs?
A. We understand that you want to cherish the memories through photography. But we also want to preserve the sanctity of this special day. Flash photography and many people taking pictures during the liturgy can be very distracting to the presiders and community. So although taking photos is allowed, please always remember and respect the solemn nature of the occasion, particularly if you are hiring an outside professional.