Through baptism men and women are incorporated into Christ. They are formed into God's people, and they obtain forgiveness of all their sins. They are raised from their natural human condition to the dignity of adopted children. They become a new creation through water and the Holy Spirit. Hence they are called, and are indeed, the children of God.
We offer Baptism Classes on a monthly basis from August through May. Location for the class will rotate between Rice and Opole. Classes will begin at 7pm. All parents expecting a baby are required to attend one Baptism class. Please attend before the baby is born. Please call the parish office at the church where you are a member to let us know you will be coming to the class. It is a good experience to grow in your faith and understanding of the Sacrament of Baptism. This class is intended for both parents.
Signs and Symbolism of Baptism
This is for cleansing and is a sign that our sins are washed away. Baptism cleanses us of original sin with which we are all born and, in the baptism of adults, of every sin committed prior to baptism. Water is also necessary for life and so is a sign, too, that the life of the risen Christ is ours.
Sign of the Cross
A sign on something shows its origin and ownership. The sign of the cross is the mark of Christians for Jesus Christ died on the cross. Parents and godparents trace it on the child's forehead to show that the baby belongs to Christ, who now offers his help and grace to face and overcome the sufferings of life.
The Oil of Baptism is olive oil rubbed on the breast of the baby, just as athletes used to rub themselves with oil to strengthen and prepare for the fight ahead. The Oil of Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam (sweet-smelling ointment) and is rubbed on the crown of the head. It is a sign of sealing with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The profession of faith which you make on behalf of your child at baptism will later be confirmed personally by your child in the sacrament of confirmation when the Oil of Chrism will be used again. The oils are blessed during holy week by the bishop in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, Minnesota.
This garment recalls the new clothes worn by Christians after baptism in the first centuries. It is a sign of innocence and the new life of resurrection.
Symbolizes Christ --- the Light of the World. The baptismal candle is lit from the paschal candle, which stands near the altar at Easter as a sign of the risen Christ. The baptismal candle reminds us that the light of Christ has entered the child's life; and its flame symbolizes the flame of faith which will burn through the life of the child.
Your baby's baptism will be recorded in the parish Baptismal Register. In the years ahead proof of baptism may be obtained in the form of a certificate issued on the basis of this registration. Your child's confirmation, marriage or ordination will also be noted alongside this entry in the register.
How soon should I have my baby baptized?
The Church encourages Catholic families to have their children baptized as soon as possible after birth not to deprive the child of the fundamental importance of baptism.
What are the requirements for being a godparent at Baptism?
Godparents go back to the days when most adult converts to the Christian faith had no Christian parents. Godparents spoke up for the baptized person and, if necessary, helped him or her to grow in the faith. Today, in the vast majority of infant baptism these tasks belong primarily to the parents.
We all come to offer support to the child's upbringing in the Christian faith. However, the Church insists that at least one godparent who is Catholic be named whose primary role is to help the parents in bringing up the child in the Christian faith. (Code of Canon Law 874.1) Godparents are the guarantors of the faith. Most parents choose two. When this happens, provided one godparent is Catholic, it is certainly allowable for a non-Catholic to act as a"witness" to the baptism. Either one of the parents cannot be/act as a godparent.
What if the godparent cannot be present for the Baptism?
If the godparent cannot be present in person, he or she may appoint another person to serve as a proxy... Ordinarily the appointment of the proxy should be made by the godparent in writing or before two witnesses, in order that there be certainty as to who is the responsible person.
I have been lapsed for many years, can my 7 years old be baptized?
Yes, but you will need to allow time for the child's preparation. The child will need to be given some instruction about baptism so that he/she understands what is happening. You may well feel that you would also find some form of preparation helpful in order to clarify any points about the faith which have given you difficulties. People sometimes wonder about how to approach a priest. After Sunday Mass is not always the best time as there are usually crowds of people around. Try to book a time convenient for both of you in order to meet in an atmosphere of quiet and peace.