Baptism of Infants
It is important for Catholics to know why we need salvation and how Christ, in his paschal mystery, brings it about. It is the core of our faith that every person seeking baptism should understand and accept. But how do infants grasp such profound spiritual realities? The simple answer is, they don’t. Infants cannot understand and accept these realities, so their parents and godparents act for them in requesting baptism. The baptism of infants, with parents and godparents acting on their behalf, is a well-established and ancient tradition in the Church. Infants receive the same graces from the sacrament as adults who receive it: forgiveness of original sin and entry into the Church, the body of Christ. In fact, the baptism of infants points up an important reality about baptism itself and the grace it imparts. We do nothing to earn salvation—it is a free, unmerited gift from God through Jesus Christ. The practice of baptizing infants helps us remember that none of us deserves salvation, and yet in baptism we are saved through the gratuitous grace of God.
Baptism at St. Alphonus is once a month, except during Lent and Advent. For a list of dates of seminars and baptismal dates, contact the church office.
Request for Baptism by Parents
When the time comes to baptize your child, parents should call the church office. An information packet will be mailed with all the information you will need regarding Godparents, Seminar Dates and Baptism Dates. Parents of a child being baptized must be registered parishioners of St. Alphonsus. Exceptions maybe made for out of parish baptisms. If you are not registered at St. Alphonsus, we encourage you to do so at this special time in your lives.
Parents and Godparents or Christian Witnesses must attend a Baptismal Seminar. Seminars are usually held on the 1st Wednesday of the month. If you have completed a baptismal seminar within the last three years, you will not be expected to attend a seminar. If this applies, then a written verification is required.
At least one parent must be a practicing Catholic that has been baptized and confirmed. If not, then you are expected to begin doing so as a visible sign of your commitment to the Church and your desire for Baptism for your Child. Grandparents, Adoptive Parents or any other relative cannot substitute for this requirement unless they have legal custody of the child. (Legal documents must be provided.)
The principal responsibility of a Godparent is to give witness to the Catholic faith by his/her words and actions. The role is, together with the parents, to present the child for Baptism, and to help it to live a Christian life befitting the baptized and faithfully to fulfill the duties inherent in Baptism. When called upon to profess the Catholic faith on behalf of the infant, the Godparent must believe in what he/she is professing.
Requirements for Godparents or Christian Witnesses are:
- Godparent - a Catholic who has been baptized, confirmed and received the Holy Eucharist, living and practicing the Catholic faith, at least 16 years old, and if married, married by a Catholic priest or deacon
- Christian Witness - a baptized Christian, living and practicing their faith, at least 16 years old
- Godparents cannot be the parent of the child being baptized
Baptism of Children and Adults
Once a child reaches eight years old, they will go through the RCIC process to become Catholic. Adults wishing to be baptized in the Catholic faith will go through the RCIA process.