Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, 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, are incorporated into the Church and madesharers in her mission: "Baptism isthe sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."
The Baptism of Adults
Since the beginning of the Church, adult Baptism is the common practice where the proclamation of the Gospel is still new. The catechumenate (preparation for Baptism) therefore occupies an important place. This initiation into Christian faith and life should dispose the catechumen to receive the gift of God in Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.
The Baptism of Infants
The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism to cleanse the sins all of us are born with. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.
According to Canon Law 873-4, there is to be only one male sponsor and one female sponsor or one of each. To be a sponsor, the person must:
1. Be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
2. Have completed the sixteenth year of age, unless the diocesan bishop has established another age, or the pastor or minister has granted an exception for a just cause;
3. Be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
4. Not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
5. Not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community is not to participate except together with a Catholic sponsor and then only as a witness of the baptism. In other words, you may have a baptized non-Catholic serve as a “Christian Witness,” but you must still have one Catholic sponsor, who is in good standing with the Catholic church, meeting the requirements listed above.
* Information Above Collected from the Catechism of the CatholicChurch
Sacrament of Baptism
Baptisms are the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Preparation classes are every 2nd Saturday. For additional information regarding Baptism at St. Paul of the Cross, please contact the parish office at 404-696-6704.