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 and daughters of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.” The sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize means to “plunge” or “immerse;” the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which we rise with Him as “a new creature.” This sacrament is also called, “the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one “can enter the kingdom of God.”
The following are guidelines for parents who are asking for Baptism for their child:
- They must be registered members of St. Mary’s Church
- They must be attending Mass and participating in the sacramental life of the church
- They need to attend a Baptismal class, which is schedule by appointment (call 717.392.2578)
The following are guidelines for those requesting to be Baptismal sponsors.
- They must be at least 16 years of age.
- Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist in the Catholic Church.
- They must attend Mass regularly and receive the Sacraments of the Church regularly.
- If married, they must be married according to the laws of the Catholic Church.
- If a St. Mary’s parishioner, Fr. Brian must approve; if they are from out of town, a letter is needed from their pastor stating that they are a parishioner in good standing.
Sponsors for Baptism should be persons who will support you in raising your child in the Catholic faith. Their lives should be an example of faith and service. They are encouraged and welcomed to attend a Baptismal class. Ordinarily, there are two godparents for a child; however only one is necessary. If you only have one godparent, a second baptized believing Christian person who has never belonged to the Catholic Church but who is a good disciple of Christ may serve as a Christian witness along with the Catholic godparent.
Baptism is usually conducted on the second and fourth Sundays. Parish membership and Baptism class are mandatory. Contact the parish office to schedule a Baptism date, 717.392.2578.