Sacrament of Infant Baptism
Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ~Acts 2:38
Baptism – “Incorporated into Christ’s Body, Sent on Christ’s Mission” (USCCB)
The sacraments celebrated by the Church are signs of grace that make a deeper reality present to us. One reality we encounter through the sacraments is Christ’s presence in the Church community, his body. This recognition of Christ’s presence in the community should lead to a stronger awareness of being sent on mission to engage in love-inspired action in the world.
As Pope Benedict XVI notes in Deus Caritas Est, the celebration of the sacraments and the ministry of love are “inseparable.” Love in action, he says, is “an indispensible expression” of the Church’s being.
- Baptism makes us “members of one another”
- Baptism reveals the equality and dignity of each member of the community
- Baptism requires us to reject sin and reassess our values, decisions and lifestyles
- In Baptism, we profess our commitment to the Church’s beliefs, values and vision
- Baptism invites us to a vocation of holiness and the practice of charity
- Baptism incorporates us into the life, death and resurrection of Christ and the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit in the world
- Baptism leads us to imitate Christ’s example
- Baptism makes us disciples to the world
- Baptism calls us to live in the world, seeking the Kingdom in our daily lives
- The baptized are to live as lights in the darkness
Parents are required to attend class for the first two children, but not if they have three or more children. The Baptism Class is held the first Thursday of every month, 7 p.m. in the Fireside Room of the Rectory. Pre-registration for class is required; please call the Parish Receptionists at 459-4662 to schedule your class. Sponsors may attend, but it is not required. Classes are taught by Father Jim, Deacon Dennis or Deacon Jim. Parents fill out the Baptism Registration Form at the Baptism Class or through the Parish Receptionists, as well as select the date of Baptism for their child.
Sacrament of Baptism
Baptisms are held on the second Sunday of the month, following the 11am Mass. The first four baptisms are scheduled for 12:15 pm; the second four are scheduled beginning at 1 pm and any more than eight are scheduled for the next month. Baptisms during Mass can only be scheduled for the 9am Mass. Arrangements for special times or dates are made directly with Father Jim or one of the Deacons and should only be scheduled under unique circumstances. Information for the Baptism is gathered at the Baptism Class. Baptisms being held by families who are not registered parishioners must be approved by Father Jim and be accompanied by a letter from their pastor stating they are baptized members in good standing and giving Father Jim or the Deacon’s delegation privileges.
Every child about to be baptized must have a godparent unless he or she is in danger of death. The minimum requirement is one Catholic godparent, but usually when infants are baptized, they get two, one of each gender.
Canon law permits only one godparent of each gender – a godmother and godfather. For a child being baptized, these godparents:
- Cannot be the parents of the one being baptized
- Must be at least 16 years old
- Must be practicing Catholics who go to Sunday Mass every week, are not invalidly married, and live a good Christian life
- Must be already confirmed
If you cannot find two practicing Catholics to be the godfather and godmother, then one can be Catholic and the other a Christian witness, if that person is a baptized and practicing Protestant Christian in good standing.
Please note that being a godparent means actively being a good Catholic Christian witness and example, a role model, and a supporter by regularly and faithfully practicing the religion. This godparent must also be a good spiritual example for your child and one who will raise your child in the Catholic faith if in the event you are unable to do so.
Baptisms are held on the second Sunday of the Month following the 11am Mass. Check with Margo Dean, Office Manager, about special Baptism dates on or after Easter. (Note: We do not advertise other dates, but if a family needs special consideration, they must talk to the priest or deacon scheduled to officiate at baptisms the month they are considering.)
Parents are not required to attended the Baptism Preparation Class if they have three or more children.
There is no fee for baptisms.
Saint Thomas the Apostle Policy of Baptism of Non-Parishioners
Here at Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish, all those who have some significant reason to request baptism shall be allowed to present a child for baptism at the regularly schedule baptism times and in accordance with all the other practices of the parish, if they present the following:
- Reason for desiring the baptism at Saint Thomas (e.g. family ties, etc.)
- Signed notification of having received some formal baptismal preparation at a Catholic Parish, campus chapel, base chapel, or the like.
- Written permission from the pastor or associate pastor of the parent(s) of the child to celebrate the sacrament in his name.
- Written statement from the pastor or associate pastor of the parents of the child that the parent(s) is/are a Catholic in good standing in the church and parish, is practicing and registered in that parish.