Children's Baptism

Dear Parents 

You have been blessed with your newly born child/children. What a great time for you: the Mother, Father and other members of the Family. Our Parish community also wants to share your joy and pray for all the blessings you need to grow as a loving, healthy Family.

As you wish to have your child/children baptized in the faith of the Catholic Church which both or one of you share, I encourage you to see in this sacred event the Heavenly Father’s love poured out upon your child/children and on you as parents. Your child/children will become a beloved son(s) and/or daugther(s) of God and will be able to call God his/her Father. St. Paul in his letter to Ephesians wrote about the wonderful blessings of those who call themselves Christians and children of God:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have obtained an inheritance...” (Eph 1:3-11).

Let the time of preparation for this event be a spiritual one, a strengthening of your faith, a refresher for your own friendship with the Lord and his Church. The baptism of your child will certainly bring about great graces in your child/children, however, the lasting and mature fruits can only be experienced if the Christian faith is genuinely practiced and shared in your family.

At the beginning of the baptismal rite the minister (a priest or a deacon) asks this question: “What do you ask of God’s Church for N ……?” and you answer: “BAPTISM”

Then, the celebrant continues to remind you of your important responsibilities as Christian parents in these or similar words: 

"You have asked to have your children baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?"

It is so easy to routinely say; “Yes” but this "Yes" should be a real commitment, i.e. your genuine commitment to faith, and at the same time, your trust in the help of the Lord and his Church.

On this occasion let me also outline some important things you should earnestly do as a part of your preparation: 

  • Registration with the parish office, and attending the baptismal preparation course and learning about the meaning of baptism,
  • Choosing practicing Catholics as Godparents (at least one Practicing Catholic is necessary). Our parish requires that those godparents will need to present a letter of recommendation from their pastor unless they belong to our parish.
  • Strengthening your faith or recommitment to faith (e.g if it was not your practice to go to church regularly on Sundays, you consider to return to the practice. Our Community will welcome you with joy.),
  • For a Catholic Parent a good sacramental confession is a very good way to renew one’s faith together with daily prayer and a pious reading of the Bible,
  • If your marriage has not been yet blessed in the Catholic Church, thus constituting obstacles to receive worthily the Holy Communion, you should contact the pastor to plan for your marriage ceremony in the church. The Pastor will help you to do it in the way it will not be a grave burden for you. Here is also a reminder that a Catholic has a moral obligation to have his/her marriage blessed in the Church as a Sacrament established by the Lord.

Dear Friends in the Lord, I wish you all the best in your preparations, I pray for the Lord’s blessings upon your Family.

Let me end with a prayer you may use to bless your child/children in preparation for his/her baptism:

Heavenly Father, in your love you have called us to know you, led us to trust you, and bound our life with yours. Surround our son/daughter ____ with your love, protect him/her from evil. Fill him/her with the holy spirit and receive him/her into the family of your church, that he/she may walk with us in the way of Christ, and grow in the knowledge of your love. Amen.

Yours,

Fr. Marius Sztuk, SDS

Pastor

GODPARENTSTHE ROLE OF THE GODPARENTSBAPTISMAL PREPARATION COURSESBAPTISMAL REGISTRATION

Part of the excitement surrounding an infant's baptism is deciding on a godmother and godfather. In various cultures, the role of the godparent has taken on many appearances. For some, there is a deep, life-long bond formed as the godparents become a real part of the family. For others, it is merely a passing honor, a tribute to a dear friend or relative but without lasting significance.

In the Roman Catholic rite of baptism until the late 1960s, there was much for the godparents to do within the ceremony. Now it is usually the parents who hold the baby, answer most of the questions and clothe the child in the baptismal garment. But the godparents still have their part in the rite:

  • at the very beginning, they are asked by the priest or deacon if they are ready to help you in your duty as Christian parents
  • with you, the godparents renounce sin and evil and profess their faith in God
  • they assist in clothing the child with the baptismal garment and in lighting the baptismal candle.

In The introduction to the Rite of Baptism for Children says this of the godparents:

"In the baptism of children too, the godparent should be present to be added spiritually to the immediate family of the one to be baptized and to represent Mother Church. As occasion offers, the godparent will be ready to help the parents bring up their child to profess the faith and to show this by living it."
The introduction to the Rite of Baptism for Children

What is important here:

  • there is to be at least one godparent, and perhaps two, as the parents desire and as local custom suggests
  • the godparents are to be present at the rite so that they can make their commitment publicly
  • the church continues to understand that the bond between the godparent and the family is very close and asks that the godparent not only be ready to help the parents in the Christian formation of their child, when appropriate, but that the godparent even more he a source of guidance. Support and inspiration to the child on his or her journey toward God.
  • the godparents speak not only for themselves but for the church.

In deciding on a god-parent or godparents, then, you have some important directions set for you by this brief paragraph from the ritual. There is everything to suggest that it is a serious responsibility to choose well; it is a decision worth much thought, prayer and discussion. When you have decided, it is appropriate that you tell the godparent-to-be what led you to your decision. It is a great honor, but it is also a great responsibility. You are looking, certainly, for a mature member of the Catholic church, one who has received the sacraments of initiation (baptism, confirmation and eucharist). You are looking for someone who can share with you the task of handing on a faith, someone whose life demonstrates that faith in both great and small ways in everyday living. You are looking for someone you can call on for help. You are looking for someone who knows that being a Catholic has to do with prayer, with justice toward the poor, with kindness for friends and strangers and even with many things that are not so popular or common in our society. And you are looking for someone who is willing to have a special relationship with your child, a relationship that will include sharing faith with the child and enjoying the child's own developing faith and gifts.

The church—that is, you and the other people who make up your parish—also is looking for these godparents. You will select them, but it is not you they represent at the baptism and thereafter. It is the church. The church is an assembly of baptized people. That same baptism is now offered to your child. We ask one another to take this baptism very seriously, even as we are delighted by it. We ask that you be prepared to speak honestly when you say that you understand and will do all that baptism implies as this child grows up. When you ask people to be godparents, you are asking that they witness this promise of ours for the church. More than that, you are asking that they bring the church to life, that they embody the church—at the baptism liturgy and always afterward in the life of the child. That is what it means that godparents "represent Mother Church" at the baptism. All of this is not to say that a godparent cannot be a relative or close friend or that the godparent has to be someone deeply involved in activities at the parish church. The godparents most certainly can be relatives, if they can answer to the qualities we have been discussing. And the godparents may not even be greatly involved in the local church: Their Catholic Christianity may be expressed in quite other ways. So, enjoy this time to consider the possibilities. Talk it over with each other. Consider what will happen if you end up living far away from the godparents. Would this person continue to take an interest in your child, pray for the child and be a presence in the child's life? When you have decided and your godparents-to-be have accepted, you may wish to ask them to be more a part of the baptism by making the baptismal garment or by selecting and buying a beautiful candle. It may become your custom over the next years to invite them to your home on the anniversary of the child's baptism for a special celebration of a most important event. May you choose joyfully and well!

  • The parents consent, or at least one of them, or someone legally standing in their place,
  • and that there be reasonable hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic faith;
  • A person may have one or two godparents (also called sponsors);
  • if two are chosen, they must be male and female.
  • be chosen by the parents,
  • have the ability and the intention to fulfil the role,
  • be at least 16 years of age, and...
  • be a confirmed Roman Catholic, who has already received the Most Holy Eucharist,
  • leading a life in harmony with the Catholic Faith (including Marriage) and will be a good role model for the one being Baptized,
  • and be neither the father nor the mother of the child;
  • A baptized person who belongs to another Christian community may be admitted only as a Christian witness (not a godparent) provided that there is at least one Roman Catholic godparent who fulfills the above criteria.
  • A non-baptized person cannot be a witness.

Our baptismal preparation consists of initial meeting with the priest, a Tuesday evening workshop and finally the arrangement of your baby's Baptism. We will provide you with reading materials and ask that you have a look at them. The book forms the basis for our rather informal Thursday workshop. Please phone the parish office at 403.455.0196 to pre-register for a workshop. The workshop is from 7:30 PM - 8:30 PM. held at the Rectory.

The evening consists of a discussion of some highlights of the book, a review of symbols of baptism and their meanings, a short presentation, overview of how and when your baby's baptism will take place. After the workshop is completed you may phone the parish priest to schedule the interview and to request a Baptism date for your child. Baptism can be done during Mass or outside Mass.
 

19 September   2017   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
10 October   2017   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
14 November   2017   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
12 December   2017   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
9 January   2018   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
13 February   2018   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
13 March   2018   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
10 April   2018   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
8 May   2018   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
12 June   2018   7:30 P.M.   Rectory
10 July   2018   7:30 P.M.   Rectory