Baptism

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).

If you have any more questions or concerns, please feel free to call the parish office for more information at (408) 629-3030.

 

Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (John 3:5)

 

There are several steps prior to celebrating your child’s baptism, which includes an interview, registration, a preparatory class, Rite of Welcome and finally the baptism itself. First, parents must conduct an interview with the baptismal team member. Godparents are welcome but not required to attend. The purpose of this meeting is to get to know your family, to discern your desire for bringing the child into the faith and to learn about the logistics of the process.  The registration form can be completed at time of the baptismal preparation interview.

Afterwards, the parents must attend a 90-minute class given by members of the baptismal team to deepen the family’s understanding of the sacrament. Sponsors are also required to attend the class.

After the interview and preparatory class, the parents, godparents and child will then celebrate the Rite of Welcome during a mass prior to the actual baptism. This usually occurs approximately 1-2 weeks before the baptism. The purpose of this rite is to welcome the child into the faith community and is therefore celebrated at one of the regular weekend masses. Finally, upon completion of these previous steps, the baptism itself is celebrated either privately or as part of a group baptism.

Contact the parish office for more information or to schedule the baptism.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Does the family have to be members of the parish in order to baptize their child here?

A. No. You may baptize your children at St Julie’s even if you are not currently members. However, for the future faith formation and discipleship of your child, we encourage you to attend mass regularly and to share actively in the life of the parish.

Q. How old should the child be?

A. The Rite of Baptism for Children is celebrated for children ages 0 to 6. If your child is older, he/she would participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) process.

Q. Do the parents and godparents have to be Catholic?

A. At least one of the parents has to be a fully initiated Catholic. Namely, they must have celebrated the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist.   At least one godparent must also be fully initiated into the Catholic Church. The other godparent does not have to be.

Q. What is the fee?

A. Private baptisms are $100. Group baptisms are $50. The payment is due prior to the celebration.

Q. What is the difference between private versus group baptism?

A. If you choose a group baptism, you have to abide by the scheduled dates for group baptisms.  There are at most 8 children at a group baptism.  For private baptisms, you must check if the church and priest are available.

Q. Are we allowed to take photographs?

A. We understand that you want to cherish the memories through photography. But we also want to preserve the sanctity of this special day. Flash photography and many people taking pictures during the liturgy can be very distracting to the presiders and community. So although taking photos is allowed, please always remember and respect the solemn nature of the occasion, particularly if you are hiring an outside professional.