Baptism

Baptism for Children

BAPTISM CLASS Schedule (Please contact office and fill out paperwork prior to class and bring birth certificate of child)
 


Contact Deacon Bill Cleavelin (361-208-2146) to schedule a baptism class.


Baptism is offered for infants for whom parents or other responsible adults pledge to see to their religious formation on behalf of the Church community.  Catechesis for this important moment is given to those who will have first responsibility in seeing that the child is brought up to live the Faith as taught by Christ and his Church.  For those who seek to have their child baptized into the Faith, information is available at the parish office on the instructions available.  Baptism of infants is usually celebrated on Saturday evening or Sunday during the time of the Church’s celebration of the Lord’s Day, the weekly commemoration of the Resurrection of Christ Jesus on the first day of the week and thus the “little” Easter we celebrate each week.  Please call the parish office (361-387-1312) to learn more about the preparation program, scheduling baptisms, and the Church’s requirements for both parents and sponsors.  Please read guidelines to help answer questions. 

Guidelines for the reception for infant baptism 
  
1. Infants should be baptized soon after birth, but sufficient time is necessary for the proper instruction. 
  
2. Children who are seven years [7] or older must receive proper instruction in religious education before they can receive the Sacraments of Initiation. Fr. Philip will instruct and guide parents to what they need in order to prepare for these Sacraments in the event your child is over the age of seven. 
  
3. The ordinary place for baptism is in the parish Church of the parents; therefore, parents need to be registered here at St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church. 
  
4. One of the parents or a legal guardian must be the one requesting  baptism. 
  
5. There must be founded hope that the child baptized will be brought up in the Catholic religion. 
  
6. Godparents must have received Baptism, the Holy Eucharist and Confirmation, be at least 16 years of age, and be practicing the Catholics  faith so that they may be able to give good example of how to faithfully live the Catholic faith. 
There are only to be two Godparents - one man & one woman. If either one is married or if they are married to each other they must be married in the Catholic Church. (A copy of a current baptismal certificate or a marriage certificate.) 
  
7. A baptized non-Catholic may not be a Godparent but may be an official witness to the baptism, as long as there is one Catholic Godparent who is in good grace with the Church. [see #6] 
  
8. Baptism is not to be conferred until parents* and godparents* have attended pre-baptismal instruction [dates & times are available on webpage or call parish office]. 
  
In this instructional formation the responsibilities of parents and godparents will be presented and reviewed, as well as preparation for the Celebration of the rite of Baptism. 
  
We are a family friendly parish and we love children. Let us journey together as we celebrate the greatest gift you could ever offer your child: Newness of life  in Christ Jesus through baptism! 

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Baptism For Adults
 
Adults seeking baptism into the Catholic Faith are invited to call the office to learn of the inquiry and preparation program that precedes sacramental initiation into the Church.  Those who complete this formation program and desire to be baptized into the Faith receive the sacraments of Initiation—Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion—at the Easter Vigil as we celebrate the mysteries of our redemption in Christ
 
 

 

Baptism Registration Form 

 

The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”

The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

  • Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
  • Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
  • White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

While in ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1284).