Baptism is our birth as Christians. It is the beginning of new life in Christ, a sacramental encounter with our Savior through which we are united with his suffering and death so as to share in eternal life.
Parent Baptism classes are offered the second Monday every other month from 6:30 to 8:45pm in Fr. Jacobs Library. Class will be available in the months of January, March, May, July, September and November. You must pre-register for the classes.
In the Rite of Baptism, parents are reminded of the responsibility to train our children in the practice of the faith. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Church has made every effort to impress upon parents that we are the primary educators of our children in the way of faith.
The Rite of Baptism makes this responsibility explicit, calling forth a statement of faith and a promise to do all we can to see that our children grow in love for God and each other.
Because of the seriousness of our parental role as models of the faith, St. Robert Parish offers a baptism preparation program to help parents reflect upon and prepare for the great gift that they are choosing to share with their children.
Who must attend Baptism preparation?
Anyone wishing to present their child for Baptism must attend a preparation session, as well as be registered and active members of the parish. Godparents are also encouraged to attend the preparation session along with the parents.
When is baptism preparation offered?
Parents and godparents attend Baptism preparation on the second Monday every other month from 6:30 to 8:45pm. Class will be available in the months of January, March, May, July, September and November. The first part of the session is held in Fr. Jacobs Library and lasts about 1½ hours; the second part is held in the church and lasts about 45 minutes.
When are Baptisms celebrated?
Baptisms can be celebrated during any weekend liturgy or after 5:00pm Saturday Mass or 8:00am or 9:30am Sunday Masses. Should we attend baptism sessions before the baby is born?
Parents are encouraged to attend Baptism classes before the child is born, simplifying the process for all concerned! However, if you are unable to attend class prior to your child’s birth, you may attend at any time. Pre-registration is required; please call ahead or the class may not be offered.
If you have been asked to be a Godparent, congratulations! You now represent the community of the Church in a very privileged and important role.
In saying “Yes” to this invitation, you affirm your readiness to help the parents in forming their child in the faith and to be an example to the child of what it means to live as a Catholic Christian. The introduction to the Rite of Baptism speaks about the godparent’s role:
“In the Baptism of children, the godparents 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 parents bring up their child to profess the faith and to show this by living it.”
From this introduction we conclude:
- There is to be at least one godparent.
- The godparents should be present at the baptism ceremony to give public witness for the church.
- The godparents should be ready to help the parents as needed in witness to the faith and in prayer for the child to be sponsored.
It is the expectation of the Church community that godparents:
- Are mature and practicing members of the Catholic Church. In other words, that they attend Mass each Sunday and regularly receive the sacrament of Reconciliation.
- Have completed their own initiation into the Church by receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
A Godparent’s Prayer
Loving God, Creator of all good things, Thank you for the gift of life given my godchild. What a privilege it is for me to stand as a witness for the Church when my godchild is washed in baptismal waters.
Lord, help me to be faithful to you all the days of my life. As my godchild grows in age and faith, enable me to be a good example for him or her of how to live as a follower of Jesus.
Through my love and concern, in moments of joy and sorrow, allow me to reveal your loving face, O God. I pray this through Christ our Lord.
The Role of Godparents
To be chosen as a godparent is a special honor. You, along with the child’s parents, are being entrusted with the responsibility to participate in this child’s Christian life and formation.
This privilege offers you the opportunity to develop a mutually-enriching spiritual relationship; one that will last throughout this life and beyond.
There are many ways you can nurture this spiritual relationship and become a special friend to your godchild. Among them are:
- Celebrate the anniversary of this holy day of Baptism each year with a visit, a call, a gift or a card.
- As your godchild grows, listen to and share in the struggles and triumphs of living a Christian life, and keep yourself informed on Christian doctrine and values, so you are able to answer questions as they arise.
- Develop a faith-based relationship with your godchild by acknowledging sacred events in the child’s life. Special cards, letters, and gifts at Christmas, Easter, and at other sacramental milestones like First Confession and First Communion show that you care about your godchild’s spiritual development.
- Personal growth events like birthdays, graduations and other times of recognition and honor should not be overlooked, either. For sacred times, religious gifts are especially appropriate. A Bible, prayer book, rosary, religious jewelry, retreat opportunity, or religious goods gift certificate are wonderful gift items to promote continued faith development.
- Participate in (or send an assurance of prayer) as your godchild receives the other sacraments, particularly First Communion and Confirmation, which complete initiation into the Church community.
- Be supportive of your godchild’s parents in their role as the primary religious educators of their child. They need your prayer, too.
- Most importantly, become a model of Christian living for your godchild, through daily prayer, virtue and active participation in parish life and liturgy. By living a Christian life in partnership with your godchild, both of you will experience the great joy of sharing a life of faith.