Baptism is seen as the sacrament of admission to the faith, bringing sanctifying grace to the person being baptized. In Catholicism the baptism of infants is the most common form, but unbaptized children or adults who wish to join the faith must also receive the sacrament. A person is to be baptized only once in their life, and the Catholic Church recognizes baptisms done by most other Christian denominations as valid. In the rite of baptism holy water is usually sprinkled or poured on the head by a priest who simultaneously invokes the Trinity with the words, "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." The old self is said to die in the waters, and a new self emerges, mirroring the death and resurrection of Christ. Given that the sacrament is understood as a requirement for salvation, anyone, even non-baptized persons, can baptize someone as the situation requires.As you are seeking the baptism of your child in the Roman Catholic Church, the following guidelines are presented to help you embark upon this journey of faith with Christ and his Church.
Basic Guidelines and Information for Infant (to include young children) Baptism (Code of Canon Law, cc. 867-868; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1251)
Parents are responsible for bringing their child to the Sacrament of Baptism as soon after birth as possible. Except in case of necessity, the church is the usual place of baptism.
In order that a child be baptized, it is necessary that the parents consent, or at least one of them, or someone legally standing in their place, and that there is reasonable hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic Faith.
GODPARENTS: A person may only have one or two godparents (also called sponsors); if two are chosen, they must be male and female.
In order for someone to be eligible as a godparent they must be chosen by the parents, have the ability and the intention to fulfill the role, be at least 16 years of age, and be a confirmed Roman Catholic, who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist, is leading a life in harmony with the Catholic Faith and will be a good role model for the one being baptized, and be neither the father nor the mother of the child.
A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community may be admitted only as a “Christian witness” (not a godparent) provided that there is at least one Roman Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria. A non-baptized person cannot be a witness (Code of Canon Law, cc. 872-874; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1255).
In order to respect your request for the baptism of your child, you are invited to follow closely the stages of preparation offered below:
- Contact your parish office and express your desire to have your child baptized.
- Introduce yourself to the parish priest if you do not already know him personally.
- Open yourself to the invitation to actively join the faith community of your parish. If you are not registered parishioners, please consider becoming involved in the prayer and celebration of the Sunday Eucharistic community.
While baptismal preparation varies from parish to parish, you will be invited to participate in some manner of faith formation prior to the baptism of your child. This may take the form of a meeting(s) with the pastor, pastoral assistant, or participation in a baptismal preparation session for parents. It is extremely important to take your faith-life seriously because, before God, you have taken on an awesome responsibility for the salvation of another—your own child! Your commitment and openness to baptismal preparation will help develop the faith-life of your child as they mature.
All of the above information applies to Baptism of an infant or young child only. If you have a child to be baptized who has reached catechetical age/the age of reason (Grade 2 or 7 years), you and they will receive different preparation. Having sufficient understanding, the preparation will now be for the full complement of the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist.
Those children already baptized in other Christian communities will be prepared to make a profession of faith into the Catholic Church and will receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation in the rite of Reception into Full Communion with the Catholic Church.
If you have questions regarding baptism or what the process might be for your particular situation, please call (619) 444-9425 or stop by the parish Ministry Center.
- $50.00 per child in a group - pay upon registration
- Currently (as of 9/1/2020), Holy Trinity does not schedule private Baptisms. However, if you are interested in a private service for your child, you may contact the Ministry Center at (619) 444-9425 to find out if our Pastor or Deacon may be available.