Welcome to the Infant Baptism information page at St. Joe’s.
Children under seven are welcomed into a Christian life in the Catholic church through the sacrament of Baptism. You may be looking at having your first child baptized…or you may be welcoming a new addition to your growing family. In any case, congratulations as your family continues to grow.
You may already be a member of St. Joe’s. If not, the first question, before even getting to baptism, is “have you found a faith home?”
We meet many people who have not been “Church-goers” or maybe it has been many years. Since we don’t look at baptism as “magic” or a one-time experience, the first decision for you and your family is deciding if you are ready to commit to a particular faith community. Baptism is so much a part of being in community that participation in the life of the parish is expected. We encourage families to visit a variety of faith communities before deciding on one. Any member of the staff would be very willing to meet with you and talk over this important initial decision.
What happens at Baptism?
We celebrate infant baptisms at our regular weekend liturgies. Being baptized into the Catholic faith is being baptized into the Christian community. As was mentioned before, the waters of baptism are not magic. All of the Sacraments of the Catholic Church celebrate what God is already doing in our lives and it is the same with baptism. The Sacrament of Baptism celebrates that the parents of the infant or young child wish to bring their child into the Christian faith community, a bond that can never be broken. Baptism also celebrates the initiation of the child into a specific local community. This is why we baptize children whose parent(s) are already members of the St. Joe’s community.
What is Baptismal Preparation?
Baptism preparation assists parents in reflecting on their faith and their new role in leading their child into the life of a discipleship. The main teacher for your child is you, the parent. It is through your life and faith that your children will grow in relationship with God and the church. At Baptismal Preparation, you will meet other young families and be given some resources for living faith.
Why does at least 1 parent need to be a member of St. Joe’s?
As Catholics, one of the foundational ways we express our membership in the Christian community is to participate in the local community. The St. Joe’s community stops everything and gathers around families who are celebrating baptism. Anyone is welcome to join the community but that may come after a time of visiting our parish and deciding if you want to make St. Joe’s the spiritual home of your family.
To have your child baptized, it is understood and expected that at least one parent is a Catholic and a member of the St. Joseph’s Parish community.
**If you are new to the community, you will be invited to begin to participate at weekend Masses at St. Joes and other suitable activities over the course of 3-4 months before entering into the baptism preparation process.
What does being a member of St. Joe’s entail?
The first assumption is that you have visited St. Joe’s over time and have decided to make this parish your spiritual home. After that initial step, membership includes:
A. registering with the parish (Registration forms available at the Welcome Table at Mass)
B. participating regularly at Sunday Mass (at least 2-3 times a month)
C. volunteering in the community (a member of the staff will assist with this)
D. supporting the work of the parish financially
What about Godparents?
We talk more of this in the sessions. Your child can have 1 or 2 Godparents.
At least one of the Godparents would be:
1. A fully initiated Catholic having received baptism, 1st Eucharist and Confirmation
2. at least 16
3. not the child’s parent
4. It is also encouraged that the Godparent(s) be actively participating in their faith.
For upcoming Baptismal Preparation Dates, please contact Michelle Miller below.
If you have previously attended baptismal preparation at St. Joe’s or another parish, you are welcome but not required to attend again. That is up to you.
How do we start the process? You are most welcome to contact Michelle Miller if you have any questions at all.
Michelle Miller, Coordinator of Faith Formation
Tel.: 613-233-4095, ext. 235