Sacrament of Baptism
Holy baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the spirit--vitae spiritualis ianua--and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.
Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ and are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission. “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the Word.”
This sacrament is called Baptism after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek: baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse.” The “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death from which he rises up by resurrection with Him as “a new creature.”
Baptism is the first of the seven sacraments and its effects are:
- Initiates and incorporates a person into the Body of Christ—the Church.
- Forgives original and personal sin.
- Becomes a new creation—a child of God—a temple of the Holy Spirit.
- Confers God’s life—sanctifying grace.
Requirements for Infant Baptism on the part of the Parents:
- Every person has the right to a Christian baptism. For the baptism of an infant, at least one (1) Catholic parent must consent to the Baptism and there must be a founded hope that the child will be raised in the Catholic Faith. There is no membership requirement to receive Baptism, but non-parishioners must receive the permission of their legitimate pastor.
- For baptisms to be performed at Saint Mary Basilica,parents must attend the parish’s baptismal preparation program for at least their first child's baptism.
- At least one, but no more than two godparents should be chosen for the child. Only one man and one woman are permitted. Both godparents must be Baptized Christians, but at least one must be a Baptized Catholic.