The Sacrament of Baptism is called “the gateway to life in the Spirit” (Catechism of the Catholic Church,1213). Since Baptism is an intricate part of the life of the Church, it is grounded on basic theological principles that are essential to our Catholic faith and that of a Christian community. Baptism begins a journey toward God, and the individual is welcomed as a member of God’s faithful people. Our catechism defines the word baptize as “plunge” or “immerse”. It also explains Baptism as a “washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” and “enlightenment” (Catechism of the Catholic Church,1213-16).
The Sacrament of Baptism is necessary to attain salvation. The sacrament not only gives us a sanctifying grace: it also makes us adopted children of God and heirs of heaven. The point to be emphasized, and never to be forgotten, is that we are potentially in heaven the moment we are baptized.
The Sacrament of Baptism for Adults
Adults interested in receiving the Sacrament of Baptism will do so through the process known as the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults).
Children who have attained the age of reason (generally accepted as being at least seven years old) are considered by the church as adults, and will prepare for the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism through the process of the RCICCA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults Adapted for Children of Catechetical Age).
Procedures for Scheduling an Infant’s Baptism
The Church classifies children who have not yet reached Catechetical age (i.e. under the age of eight) as “Infants”.
In compliance with the Canon Law of the Church, parents and godparents are required to attend a Baptismal Preparation Workshop in order to have a child baptized in our Parish. The workshops are offered on the third Saturday of each month in the Parish Life Center beginning at 9:00 a.m. in Spanish and at 9:30 a.m. in English. See list of Baptism Workshop Dates Attendees do not have to pre-register for a workshop but should sign the attendance sheet upon arrival. A Baptism Registration Form may be completed online by clicking here; downloaded and printed by clicking here, or completing a hard copy in the “Baptism Information Packet” available in the narthex of the Church, the PLC foyer or at the Parish Office.” Upon completion of the workshop, an available date and time for the celebration of the Sacrament may be selected.
If parents or godparents are not able to attend one of the workshops on the dates offered at Good Shepherd, they may submit documentation of their attendance at another Catholic Church.
Parents must be registered members of Good Shepherd Catholic Church and demonstrate active membership by weekly Mass attendance.
Newly-registered families may schedule their child’s baptism no earlier than three months after the date of registration in Good Shepherd Parish.
Parents who are registered in another parish and who wish to baptize their children at Good Shepherd must bring written permission from the pastor of the parish in which they are registered.
A copy of the Birth Certificate of the child to be baptized must be submitted to the Parish Office when scheduling the Baptism.
Godparents/Sponsors must be at least 16 years of age and have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.
Because Godparents are to become a living demonstration of what it means to be Catholic, godparents who are not parishioners of Good Shepherd Church must submit a completed Godparent Certification Form or a “Letter of Eligibility to Serve as a Godparent” that has been signed and sealed by the pastor of their own parish.
Godparents/Sponsors, if married, must be married by the Catholic Church.
Godparents/Sponsors must be practicing Catholics who demonstrate their faith by:
- Regular worship at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and witness to their faith in Jesus Christ by partaking in Holy Communion and participation in the life of their parish.
- Active participation in living out their commitment to Christ and to the Church by the sacrificial giving of time, talent and treasure, and by their loving response to their neighbor.
Other Points Of Interest:
- Parents will receive a Baptism Candle at the time of Baptism
- PHOTOS WITHOUT FLASH and VIDEO WITHOUT LIGHTS are permissible but must not interrupt the ceremony.
- Please be punctual by arriving at least 20 minutes prior to the scheduled time of Baptism. PLEASE DO NOT BE LATE! Guests need to arrive early as well.
- Please wear appropriate and modest attire befitting the dignity of the sacrament.
- It is inappropriate to handle or dispense food in the sanctuary.
- Please also refrain from chewing gum.
- Be respectful and do not leave any type of litter.
For additional information:
Contact Deacon Ralph by phone (470.695.7736), by email (E-mail me) or in person (Pastoral Office Center), and indicate that you are interested.