Baptism is the first sacrament of the New Law, which Christ offered to all, that they might have eternal life! Jesus says in John 3:5, “no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and spirit.” In baptism we respond to the Gospel and are incorporated into the Church, as those anointed like Christ as prophet, priest, and king. We are bonded in unity to all of the baptized, throughout the entire world. Baptism washes away our every sin and makes us God’s adopted children, enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit. (CI, General Intro).
Adults, Teens, and Children
The RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) is the program by which adults are prepared to become Catholic. The corresponding program for high school teens is the RCIT; the program for children grades 2 through 8 is RCIC. Each of these programs offers instruction in the Catholic Faith, prayer and periodic rites (ceremonies) during Sunday Mass. Those who desire to become Catholic generally do so at the Easter Vigil (the night before Easter) by receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. Since Baptism takes away all sin, those Baptized at the Easter Vigil celebrate the sacrament of Penance (Confession) about a month after Easter.
If you are already baptized and want to become Catholic
If a person is already baptized with water and the Trinitarian prayer “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”, then they are NOT “re-baptized”. This is because we recognize all Trinitarian Baptism as valid. Those already baptized also participate in the RCIA/RCIT/RCIC program as a preparation for the sacraments of Confirmation, Eucharist and Penance (Confession). This person celebrates the sacrament of Penance a few weeks before Easter. He or she is received into “full communion” with the Catholic Church (becomes Catholic) at the Easter Vigil by making a simple statement of Profession of Faith and receiving the sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist (Communion).
Infants and Small Children
Because newborns and small children up to and including first graders have not yet fully reached the “age of reason”, they are presented for Baptism on the faith of their parents and godparents. We focus on preparing the parents for the baptism of their child so they are well disposed to safeguard and nurture their child’s faith.
To Schedule a Baptism
Parents should call the rectory at 289-5539 to sign up for a one session Infant Baptism Class and to schedule their child’s Baptism. Baptisms take place on Sundays after the 11:00 Mass.
Children in Kindergarten or First Grade should also be enrolled in Sunday Morning Religious Education (CCD) if they are not already enrolled at St. Matthew School.