Downloads and Resources
Upcoming Baptismal Prep Classes
All classes are held at the Parish Center (old school)
Room 1 (to the left as you enter the front doors)
If you are in need of preparation, or need to attend
a class to serve as a godparent, please call Geri
in the parish office to schedule a class time.
About Our Program
The Sacrament of Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation. Children begin their faith journey with Baptism, as they are welcomed into God's family.
Baptism encourages the child to "put on Christ", to participate in His risen life! The Christian identity goes deep into their soul, and they are configured to Christ by His grace.
Baptism is a commitment on the part of the parents who will raise the child in accord with the practices of the faith, assisted by the godparents. The following requirements are set forth in order to bring a child forward for baptism:
Choosing a Godparent
“You must always be an example of faith to inspire this child - to see that the divine life which God gives to them is kept safe from the poison of sin ... (Rite of Baptism)”. The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that, for everything, there is a season. In the same way, the Church reminds us that, for every role, there is a purpose. Things are not done in the Church “just because”... there is always an important reason behind our rituals and rubrics (the actions which accompany the words we speak). In this article, I would like to focus on the Sacrament of Baptism and the role of the godparent. Godparents fulfill an essential role - not only at the time of Baptism, but throughout a person’s life.
Oftentimes, godparents are overlooked in terms of their importance. Parents will defer to someone they know and trust to serve as a godparent. Perhaps the parents may have a good relationship with this person, but do they ask the tough questions that should be asked of a godparent? The Code of Canon Law sets forth the following requirements for godparents with regard to baptism:
All of these items seem pretty straightforward. However, we must pay particular attention to the third item in the list above. What does it mean to live an “upright” life? These questions may be appropriate to ask to help us answer that question. Do they attend Mass regularly? Do they strive to lead a good, holy life? Do they have a good prayer life? Do they make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation on a regular basis? In the Rite of Christian Initiation, a godparent is described as someone who is a member “of the Christian community who will ... help [the newly baptized] persevere in the faith and in [their] life as a Christian.” The Rite continues on the role of the godparent and their relationship to the parents and other family members. “...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, [they] will be ready to help the parents bring up their child to profess the faith and to show this by living it” (RCIA General Introduction, ¶ 8-10).
As we can see here, friends, the responsibility of the godparent doesn’t end on the day of a child’s baptism; in fact, it is just beginning!! The role of godparent is not simply to answer a few questions and hold the baptismal candle during the Rite of Baptism. The Rite says, “Parents and godparents, this light has been entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly” (Rite of Baptism). The role of godparent is a special bond that is shared first and foremost with the child, but also with the parents, as the godparents take an active role in ensuring that a child is raised in the practices of the faith and assists the parents with this important responsibility.
The history of godparents goes back to the time of the ancient Church. When infants were brought for solemn baptism, there was always a person to assist at the liturgy to make a profession of faith in the child’s name. These practices are witnessed in the writings of Tertullian, and the Church fathers (St. Basil and St. Augustine in particular). During the time of the persecutions, godparents played an important role to care for the child should the lives of their parents be taken.
There are many of us who serve the role as godparent to our nieces, nephews, grandchildren, cousins, friends, etc. How often do you communicate with your godchild? Do you encourage them to remain active in the Church? Are you present to your godchildren to encourage them and to give them counsel when they have questions? Godparents should be near to the child during their formative years (as opposed to living across the country or on another continent). In order to fulfill the role of godparent, godparents must be near their godchildren and able to share actively in their lives. When considering a sponsor for confirmation, parents and children should look first to the godparents. What better person to fulfill the role of sponsor than one who has been close to the child throughout their life and has helped them grow in their faith? A wonderful choice!
To those who serve as godparents: rejoice in what God has called you to be!! To parents preparing for baptism and thinking about godparents: spend some time in prayer, and make a good choice - one that will bring many spiritual benefits to you and to your child for all their years.