For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. (Galatians 3:27)
Baptism is the gateway to life in Jesus Christ and gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism, we are initiated into the faith, we are freed from sin, become children of God, and are incorporated into what St. Paul called the Body of Christ – the Church.
Water is an essential element of Baptism. The priest or deacon pours water on the person’s head (or immerses the person in water) three times. This is accompanied by the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” matching each pouring or immersion with the invocation of each of the Divine Persons. This ritual of pouring or immersion shows us that our sins are washed away and we emerge cleansed from sin and filled with divine life through this sacrament.
The origin and foundation of Baptism is Jesus. Before beginning his public ministry, Jesus asked for baptism. Jesus did not need purification from sin, but voluntarily submitted to it to give us an example of faithfulness to the will of God.
Are you looking to receive the Sacrament of Baptism for yourself or inquiring on behalf of a loved one? Congratulations! What a splendid reality it is to be children of God through baptism!
The sacrament of Baptism is usually celebrated in a parish setting. The Church recommends that parents arrange for their infants to be baptized soon after birth.
Please contact your local parish to arrange for infant baptism and for children through age 5 or for more information. Click here to find a parish near you.
The proper place for baptism is a church or oratory; however, in a case of urgent necessity or some other compelling pastoral reason, Baptism may be celebrated in a hospital, institutional setting, or other location of emergency. Learn More about Emergency Baptism.
Sponsors for Baptism
Whenever a person is baptized, as an infant, as a child, or as an adult, there should be at least one person present who will act as sponsor for the one being baptized. The Sponsor, commonly referred to as one’s godmother or godfather (padrino/madrina), accepts the responsibility of helping the person grow in the Catholic faith. One who acts as a sponsor for an infant or child agrees to help the parents teach their child about the faith and how to live as a practicing Catholic. One who acts as sponsor for an adult agrees to encourage and support the person, pray with and for the person, and offer whatever help, information, or support is needed while the person is preparing to enter the Church and then in living out the rest of his or her life as a practicing Catholic.
For a person to act as a sponsor for Baptism, he or she must:
• Be at least sixteen years old.
• Have already received all the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist).
• Be living in a way that demonstrates one’s faith is strong enough to be able to fulfill the responsibilities involved with being a sponsor.
• If married, sponsor must be married in accord with the laws of the Church.
To inquire about the sacrament of Baptism for you or a loved one, please contact your neighborhood parish. Click here to find a parish near you.