Baptism is birth into the new life in Christ. It is through Baptism that the stain of original sin, and any other sin, is wiped away and we become new members of the Body of Christ and the Catholic Church. We extend a special welcome to you if you are trying to find out more about Baptism for your child or for yourself.
If you are visiting our site because you recently became a parent, or your child is a little older; we offer our congratulations! We know what a busy and exciting time this is for your family, and we want to assist you in raising your child in the faith.
If your child is between the ages of 7 and 14 and has not been baptized, we invite them to go through our Bridges Sacramental Preparation Class. They will prepare for the Sacraments of Initiation through this program including Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. These children will come into the Church at the Easter Vigil.
Families with youth ages 15 - 17 in need of baptism should contact our Youth Minister, Monica Robinson, to customize a Sacramental Preparation program to include Baptism and the other Sacraments of Initiation.
If you are an adult who is seeking more information on how to become a member of the Catholic Church, please check out The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). There you will find good information on what that process is and also contact information for the person who can tell you more about it.
What Our Faith Teaches Us:
If someone were to ask you “What is one of the most important things in life for everybody without exception?” the response would hopefully include “Baptism.” Not only do we obtain salvation by Baptism, but it is through Baptism that we are made into a new creation and the door to life and to the Kingdom of God is opened to us. We also know that our Christian duty is to go and make disciples of all nations through the grace bestowed on us at our Baptism. As parents, you will have the great joy of creating and forming a new disciple of Jesus Christ. May the Lord uphold you as you answer His call.
If we look at the Rite of Baptism, we find that the Church has given us a beautiful description of what the Sacrament of Baptism is; what it means for us as Catholics. “Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people. This first sacrament pardons all our sins, rescues us from the power of darkness, and brings us to the dignity of adopted children, a new creation through water and the Holy Spirit…Baptism is therefore, above all, the sacrament of that faith by which, enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we respond to the Gospel of Christ. That is why the Church believes that it is its most basic and necessary duty to inspire all--catechumens, parents of children still to be baptized, and godparents -- to that true and living faith by which they hold fast to Christ and enter into or confirm their commitment to the New Covenant. In order to enliven such faith, the Church prescribes the pastoral instruction of catechumens (unbaptized persons who desire to be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church through the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist), the preparation of the children’s parents, the celebration of God’s word, and the profession of faith at the celebration of baptism” (Rite of Baptism).
Sometimes the question of why the Catholic Church baptizes young children and infants arises. It is important to understand this particular practice in the Church and why we encourage parents to baptize their children as soon as possible. (From the Catechism of the Catholic Church): “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.”
To Schedule a Baptism:
At Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi, baptisms are scheduled almost every weekend, with the exclusion of during Lent. All parents need to have attended a Baptism Preparation Class before scheduling a baptism. Please call the Parish Center (317-859-4673) to schedule a meeting or register for a Baptismal Preparation Class.
Here are some basic guidelines for Baptisms:
- Baptisms are usually held on Sundays, after the 11:30 am Mass. Other times and days may be scheduled depending on the availability of the church and the celebrant.
- Baptisms can be performed by priests and deacons.
- At least one parent of the infant or child presented for Baptism must be Catholic. If the Catholic parent(s) are not registered parishioners at Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi, they must provide a letter from the pastor of the parish where they are registered that states they are Catholics "in good standing". This should be provided at least two weeks prior to the scheduled baptism.
- See below for the criteria on Godparents.
Baptismal Preparation Class:
Parents of newly born children or children under the age of 7 are asked to participate in the Baptism Preparation Program. The purpose of the program is to help parents make the coming baptism of their child more than just a tradition or custom. Trained persons meet with parents to reflect on the sacrament of baptism and the responsibilities of the parents and godparents will have by having their baby baptized into the Catholic Community.
The class is only required once, so parents need not take it again if they have previously completed the class but...a refresher class is not a bad idea.
Baptism Preparation classes are held on the last Monday of each month at 6:00 pm in the Hospitality Suite. Call the office to schedule a class and/or a baptism date.
The role of godparents is to support parents as they raise their child in the faith and to help their godchild lead a Christian life. Traditionally, the godparents are the ones who ensure that their godchild is given a Christian upbringing if the parents are no longer able to fulfill that responsibility; but they also help the parents in the ordinary circumstances of daily life – by their special concern for their godchild, by their example, and by whatever assistance they can provide in raising the child.
- At least one of the Godparents MUST be a practicing Catholic in good standing (an active Catholic who has been Baptized,and Confirmed and regularly receives the sacraments - Eucharist and Confession) with the Holy Roman Catholic Church and be at least 16 years of age
- The Godparent can not be the parent.
- If married, be in a valid Marriage (meaning married in the Catholic Church or have had the marriage blessed by a Catholic priest.
- If he/she is not a parishioner at Saints Francis & Clare of Assisi, a letter will be requested from their local pastor acknowledging that he/she is a parishioner in good standing. If a non-Catholic is chosen as the second Godparent, he/she must be validly baptized. However, it is preferable that both be of the Catholic Faith.
- You are not required to have two Godparents, one does suffice. However, if you have two Godparents, there must be one male and one female.