"Every child who is born is a gift of joy and of hope,
and every child who is baptized is a miracle of the faith
and a feast for the family of God.”
To be "baptized" literally means "to be immersed." In this first of all the Sacraments, we are immersed –– plunged into –– the very life of God. Cleansing, refreshing water, which is necessary for life, is used to symbolize God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being. In Baptism we receive the dignity of becoming a Christian –– a member of the Church, the Body of Christ.
That is why our Baptism Font is so prominent at St. Francis de Sales. It is at the church doors so that all who enter are immediately reminded of their Baptism, and from its waters we bless ourselves when we enter and leave.
Since the days of the Apostles, the Catholic Church has baptized entire households –– and of course that meant even infants. Why deny these little ones the grace and dignity of being a Christian? Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” Of course babies can't say yes to Baptism, but their parents can! When presenting their child for baptism today parents promise to "raise them in the practice of the faith." Parents promise to share and foster within their children the most precious gift of faith. And that faith will guide and inspire that child every single day of life –– all the way to the Gate of Heaven.
The St. Francis de Sales Family welcomes your child with great joy, and we look forward to celebrating the Sacrament of Baptism with you. Since this is such an important milestone, we require a Baptism Preparation Session for parents and, if possible, Godparents. Usually this sessions take place at the Parish Center. You can register online, or contact the Parish Life Coordinator at the parish office. If you have already had a child baptized, you need not attend the preparation session again, but you need to contact the Parish Office to schedule the Baptism.
One of the most important decisions to be made regarding Baptism is the selection of Godparents for your child. You are required to have one Godparent, but you can select two. (If you have two, one is to be male and the other female).
Since Godparents represent the Church, they should be carefully chosen. The Church requires that a Godparent be:
- at least sixteen years of age.
- be a Catholic who has been Confirmed and shares in Holy Communion.
- leads a life in harmony with Church teaching.
Options for Baptism
Since in Baptism one is welcomed into the Church Family, we celebrate Baptisms during Mass where God's People are gathered. Usually this is celebrated the third weekend of each month (except during Advent and Lent). This must be scheduled in advance with the Parish Life Coordinator.
Baptizing an Older Child
If your son or daughter is seven years or older, please contact the Catechumenate team at the parish office to discuss options to prepare your child for Baptism.