Baptism

The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”

The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

  • Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
  • Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
  • White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

While in ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1284).

Series by Fr. Mario Quejadas - August 2017
Sacrament of Holy Baptism & Its Significance in our Lives as
Christians & Christ Followers in Joy

Session # 1

Baptism is the most important of all the Sacraments in the life of the church because it is through this life giving ritual that the Heavenly Father adopts us through the passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus and we are incorporated into the family of God.  It is through this great blessing that we can dare to call God ‘Abba, our Dad, our Father. 

We cannot over emphasize this great grace, because it is something not earned. It is freely given to us through the Holy Spirit.

No wonder here, at St. Walter, and elsewhere, we desire to make a difference as we welcome these little souls into the Kingdom of God.  I’ve always used the gardener’s word, ‘grafting’ to describe this great mystery.  Grafting is taking two pieces of plant life and making them into one. 

In Holy Baptism, those baptized are grafted unto Christ, so there are no more two identities but one.  What a blessing, but also what a great responsibility for parents, in particular.  What they say, these little ones will say; what they do, these little ones will do; who they are, these little ones will be.

The parents are the first priests of their local church, their family.  Priests are given the grace and responsibility to bring their people to heaven.  Parents are given the great grace and responsibility to bring their family to heaven.  If a member of your family is not heaven, it is not heaven.

I hope and pray that here in our parish, our parents will be the best joyful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ for their children.  So these little ones too will choose the Lord, when its their time to hear His voice.

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This article is the 2nd in the series on the Sacrament of Holy Baptism
and its Significance in our Lives as Joyful Disciples.

Session #2

In many cases, nowadays, parents who ask for their children to be baptized do so for family or cultural reasons rather than spiritual ones. Too often, religiously indifferent parents ask for their child's baptism merely because they are being pressured by their own parents to have the child baptized.

In some cultures, the celebration of an infant's baptism is an important social event, quite separate from its religious significance, and for this reason, baptism is requested by parents who no longer practice their Catholic faith.

In cases like these, the spiritual importance of this sacrament is lost.

Canon 851 n.2 of the Code of Canon Law mandates me, as pastor, to instruct the parents of the children to be baptized on the significance of what they are asking for and the obligations attached and expected of them. This is where our Baptismal Prep comes in. We have an exciting group of parishioners / parents who lead this program: Tom and Valerie Della Penna, Stan and Linda Partyka, Kenny and Jenny Kopulos, Linda and Barry Wasserstrom, Jerry and Noreen Pisano, and Jim and Janell Novak.They strive to be models of hospitality and warmth. 

These hosts are welcoming in their presentation of the theology of Baptism, practical details of the ceremony, and the joy of being the best joyful disciples for their child.  We emphasize their grand role in calling and “discipl-ing” their children to Christ Jesus, even in their children’s adulthood. You will find the baptismal prep to be very informative and rewarding.

Since I came here 2 years ago, we have seen the number of infant Baptisms increase and young families who choose our parish to be their home.  To God be the glory!

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This is the third and final article in the series on the Sacrament of Holy Baptism
and its significance in our lives as joyful disciples.

Session #3

 

I want to talk about the beauty and calling of the godparents in their vocation to help the parents of the baby in raising them as joyful disciples.

It is of utmost importance for Holy Mother Church that the child born again in Holy Baptism be raised in the faith that was gifted by the Holy Spirit in the waters of rebirth.  No wonder parents are asked to choose great witnesses of the Christian faith that will help them do so by word and example.  These “witnesses” are what we call “godparents.”  They are the second spiritual parents in calling forth these young souls to follow the Lord Jesus.

Nemo dat non habet" (Latin for: “You cannot give what you don't have.”).  If you want the baby to be a great Christian, you have to have great Christian parents and godparents. There is no other way to achieve this.  I also hope that the godparents will be around as the child grows up. I hope that they are present for the child’s First Confession, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, and Holy Matrimony.  Witness and proximity are 2 great words in the life of the godparent.

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Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (John 3:5)

 

Baptisms are scheduled the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Sundays of the month at 1:30 PM. Parents need to attend a Baptismal Preparation Class. This class is offered on the First Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM in the Narthex of the church.

Please register for an upcoming class by contacting Liz Barone at the Parish House, (630)894-2461. Godparents are encouraged to attend the class. 

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Godparents Sponsors

If you are asked to be a godparent for Baptism, you must be at least 16 years of age, a fully initiated Catholic (Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist) and a practicing Catholic. You will be asked to submit a sponsor form from your home parish, certifying that you are a practicing Catholic. For the parish to certify this, you must be registered in the parish and meet the definition of a practicing Catholic.

A practicing Catholic is one who attends Mass regularly and supports the parish monetarily and / or in service to the parish.