Baptism (& Monthly Schedule)
- The Sacrament of Baptism (+ monthly schedule)
- Dates for Baptisms at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish
- Parish Guidelines for Baptism
- Procedure of Baptism at OLPH
- Norms for Determining the Parish in Which your Child is to Receive Their Instruction
- Thinking About Baptism and Godparents
Like all the sacraments, Baptism is first and foremost, a sign of God’s everlasting and unconditional love for each child He has created. He claims the child as His own.
- God shares with the child His own divine life by imparting the gift of the Holy Spirit.
- The child enjoys a new relationship with God the Father, in light of his/her connection with Christ, the Son.
- Christ strengthens the child to live as one of His disciples.
- Christ calls on parent(s) and godparent(s) to foster and nurture the life of faith and discipleship in the child.
- Christ initiates the child into His Mystical Body, the Church. This initiation is completed by the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist.
- Christ frees the child from the sinfulness of the world by the power of God’s Spirit dwelling in him/her.
Please see the Baptism package for more details. Before Baptism dates are set, the two-part Baptism preparation course at OLPH must be completed by parents along with an interview from Msgr. Jim. Dates are provided at the end of the Baptism preparation. Those who have already completed the course at OLPH will be contacted with the scheduled dates upon receipt of the Baptism application.
- A Roman Catholic parent (or the guardian who has the legal custody of the child) who is a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish may seek Baptism for his/her child in this parish community.
- To be a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish you must live within the boundaries of the parish or be a registered and practicing member of the parish for a period of at least six months prior to the date of the Baptism.
- The Church emphasizes the role of parent(s) as the first and best teachers of their child in the ways of faith and Christian values. During the Baptism, the parent(s) of the child promise to do their best to raise their child in the practice of the faith. Obviously, the parent(s) should manifest their faith by participating in the weekly Sunday Eucharist with the faith community into which their child is to be incorporated. We look for an honest and wholehearted commitment on the part of the parent(s).
- It is never our intention to deny Baptism to anyone. However, there may be circumstances that would lead us to suggest the postponement of the Baptism until the parent(s) are ready to carry out the promises they must make at the Baptism ceremony.
- Baptism initiates the baptized person into the Catholic community. Hence, it is most appropriate to celebrate Baptism at a time when the community is together, which is when we come together to celebrate Eucharist. Thus, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, we celebrate Baptisms once per month at one of the parish's weekend liturgies.
Baptism Preparation Packages may be obtained in the vestibule of the church or at the church office. Any family wishing to have a child baptized must pick up one of these packages and follow the directions outlined in the package. No date for baptism should be decided upon or arrangements made with family or friends until everything has been confirmed with the parish.
Norms for Determining the Parish in which your Child is to receive both his/her instruction and reception of the sacraments
- Children whose parent(s) are regularly attending Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish are to receive both their instruction and their sacrament at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
- Children whose parent(s) live within the boundaries of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish but are in the regular habit of attending and participating in another parish are to receive their instruction and their sacrament in the parish they regularly attend.
- Children whose parent(s) are not in the habit of attending church regularly and who live within the boundaries of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish are to receive both their instruction and sacrament at Our Lady of Perpetual Help. If you live within the boundaries of some other parish then it is to this other parish that you must go for instruction and the celebration of the sacrament.
- If you are not in the habit of attending Church regularly and you live in the boundaries of a parish other than Our Lady of Perpetual Help, but you would like your child to receive their instruction and the Sacrament of Baptism at Our Lady of Perpetual Help because your child attends OLPH School, you will need to get a letter of permission from the pastor of the parish within whose boundaries you live.
Having made the decision to bring your child to the Church for the Sacrament of Baptism, you are now faced with another decision - the choice of your child's godparent(s).
In recent years, and in many instances, the role of the godparent has been distorted and the choice of people to fill this role has been made for reasons other than those which should dictate the choice. Only too often, we approach someone to be a godparent to satisfy a social relationship, to say "thank you" for past favours, because they expect to be asked, or for material benefits which may be forthcoming for the child. At the risk of hurting someone's feelings we should make our choice of godparent with the following in mind:
Inviting someone to be a godparent implies the following:
- A request by the parent(s) for the assistance of the Christian community in general and the selected godparent(s) in particular in raising their child in the Catholic faith;
- An admission by the parent(s) of their awareness that they need this assistance;
- An affirmation of the faith of the individuals invited to be godparent(s) and a challenge to them to witness their faith;
- A statement by the parent(s) that they want their child to be positively influenced by the faith and the lives of the people they have invited;
- A reminder to the entire community that it has a shared responsibility to support each of its members.
We suggest the following guidelines in making your choice of people to invite to be godparent(s):
- The person(s) chosen must be mature enough to carry out the responsibility of godparent(s).
- The person(s) must be one of strong living faith, which they practice regularly by attending Sunday Eucharist. They are not required to be a "paragon of virtue" but rather an ordinary good Catholic person(s) who gives witness to his/her own commitment to Gospel values.
- The person(s) must be willing to profess his or her faith with the parent(s) immediately prior to the actual pouring of baptismal water and should have no reservations about doing so.
- The person(s) must have received all three sacraments of initiation, i.e., Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
- The person(s) must be willing, in whatever way she/he can, to actively cooperate with the parent(s) in helping to bring the child up as a Christian.
For obvious reasons, only a member of the Catholic Church (or Eastern Orthodox community) may be a godparent. However, a member of a non-Catholic Christian Community may serve as a Christian Witness. The godparent must profess the faith in which the child is to be raised and members of non-Catholic churches, although good Christians, cannot be expected to rear another in the Roman Catholic faith. The child must have at least one Roman Catholic godparent.
Unlike the old rite of baptism, which required the godparent(s) to answer for the child in renunciation of Satan and profession of faith in Christ, the rite currently in use reflects the reality of the situation more accurately in asking the parent(s) and godparent(s) to renew their own rejection of evil and acceptance of Jesus that they may offer these to nurture the faith in/of the growing child from the seeds planted at Baptism.
In reflecting upon the responsibilities of godparenthood, it is apparent that what is asked of the godparent is really the mission of each of us as Christians; we are to nurture the faith and reach out to others in love throughout our lives.
If you have any questions about this sacrament or wish to have your child baptized, please contact the Parish Office.