Sacraments

Baptism

Congratulations to the Parents!

It is such a privilege to be with the Lord, a co-creator in bringing new life into the world.  More wonderful still, through baptism, your infant will become a child of God and will begin a new life also in the Catholic community.  To prepare for this joyous moment in your child’s life, it is important that you examine your own faith life.

Just as a baby is born with your features and will pick up your mannerisms, so too will your child grow up with your faith.  That is why when you approach the priest or deacon regarding your infant’s baptism, he will encourage you to live your faith to the fullest.  As a parent, you will be the primary educator of your child’s faith.  Baptism is only the first stage of your child’s initiation into the believing community.  With your guidance and demonstration of faith, along with help from the parish religious formation program, your child will continue their journey and initiation into the Catholic community in coming years.

Parish Policy for Baptism

Please call the Parish Office at 586-254-4433, to begin the process for Baptism.  It is the policy of St. Therese of Lisieux that all first time parents, those families new to the parish, and those families who have not had a child baptized in the last three years, must attend a Baptism workshop prior to having a child baptized.  Baptism workshops are held on the second Thursday of every other month – January, March, May, July, September and November.

If you do not need to attend the Baptism workshop, parishioners of St. Therese of Lisieux who regularly practice their faith can have their baby baptized at the next available date for Sunday Baptisms.  New parishioners, or those who have become lax in their faith, will be asked to become active at St. Therese of Lisieux for a period of at least three months.  For most, the regular use of parish envelopes, for instance, (but not the amount contained within them) is an easy way in indicating Mass attendance.  Also, participating in parish ministries, commissions and groups are an indication of your activity in the parish.

For new parishioners not wanting to wait three months, there is also the possibility of bringing a letter from your former parish attesting to their regular faith practice.

Scheduling a date for Baptism

 Once you have completed the requirements for Baptism, you may then call the parish office and schedule a date.  Normally, Baptisms are held the first three Sundays of each month at 1pm.  The dates and times for each month are available a month or two in advance.  The number of children baptized at one time is limited, so you must call the office and reserve a particular date.  At that time, the office staff will request some information of you that is needed for your child’s baptismal record.

Understanding the Sacrament of Baptism

The sacrament of Baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit.(Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”

The Catechism teaches:
“The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ” (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

  • Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
  • Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as are reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
  • White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

While in ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (CCC 1284).