|The Parish of Saint Patrick||
The Sacrament of Baptism
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is by Baptism that we become members of Christ’s body, the Church, and enjoy the promise of salvation he made to us, by dying for us on the Cross and rising to new life. In Baptism we begin a new life in Jesus Christ. Baptism, including the Baptism of infants, has been practiced from the earliest days of the Church, and is done in response to our Lord’s command "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." By bringing our children to the Church for Baptism, we are making a very clear statement about our life, our Faith and its practice. We make a real promise to bring our children up in the committed practice of the Catholic Faith. Baptism is the beginning of a life long journey of faith, and so it is important to begin this journey well.
You, the parents of the child, might consider the following questions in making the decision to present your child for Baptism:
Do you believe in the teachings of the Catholic Church?
Is prayer an important part of your life, and are you willing to teach your child to pray?
Is practicing the Faith important to you as a family? (This includes going to Sunday Mass)
Do you want to bring your child up as a member of the Catholic Church?
Baptism requires a commitment, not only from the person baptised, but in infant Baptism from you the parents (and godparents) to teach, support and encourage your child how to be a good faithful Catholic. To live a life of Faith is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ; this is an incredibly important witness to the modern world and is relevant to every area of life. By making the decision to have your child baptised, you are not only being courageous, but are a witness and an example to others.
For some of the sacraments, the Church asks us to have a sponsor to support us by their own example of Christian living. It is our tradition, at Baptism, for the parents, to appoint at least one ‘godparent’ to fulfil this role and to have special care for the spiritual growth of the child. A maximum of two godparents (one man and one woman) is the norm and as everyone present at the Baptism ceremony witnesses to the sacrament being conferred, other ‘special witnesses’ are not normally permitted.
It is very important, when choosing godparents, that we choose them for the good example that they will be for the child in faith and Christian living.
It is also very important, for every sacrament we receive, that we prepare thoroughly, this is especially true when we receive that sacrament for the first or only time. Parents and godparents of children to be baptised are required to attend a short preparation session which usually takes place during the week before the Baptism.
Arranging a Baptism
Baptisms may be booked in the Parish Office from Monday to Thursday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm. Baptisms may only be booked in person by the mother or both of the parents of the child and you must bring the long civil birth certificate in order to arrange a Baptism. At least four weeks notice is required.
If you would like more information on opportunities to develop your understanding of the Catholic Faith and other Adult Faith Development courses, please contact the Parish Office.