Baptism is one of the greatest gifts that Christ has given us, and one of the greatest gifts that parents can give to their children. Through Baptism, a person is united to the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; or, to put it another way, what Jesus did for us by dying and rising is applied to the person baptized.
When someone is baptized, the risen life of the Lord Jesus begins to live in that person’s soul. This person begins the adventure of the Christian life, in which he or she is called to become like Jesus Himself. It is our union with the Lord Jesus, which begins with Baptism, that gives us the hope of heaven.
Baptism then is far more than a "naming ceremony" or even just a blessing for a new child. It should be the highest priority of every Christian parent to see that children are baptized very early in their lives. Because of the importance of Baptism, this Sacrament is approached with great reverence and care in the Church.
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you."
Requirements for sponsors
Since a godparent is “sponsoring” a child for membership in the Catholic Church, he or she must be a practicing Catholic who has received the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation). A sponsor should normally be at least 16 years of age, as a confirmed person would usually be.
An essential aspect of being a practicing Catholic is living in accord with the Catholic understanding of marriage. Therefore, if a sponsor/godparent is married he or she must be in a validly recognized Catholic marriage. If a sponsor/godparent is not married, he or she must not be living with his or her significant other.
Sponsors may be asked to provide a recent copy of their baptismal certificate to serve as proof of receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Marriage, if applicable. Sponsors who are members of another parish are additionally asked to provide proof of membership via a signed letter by the pastor accompanied by a parish seal.
Only one sponsor is required. There may be (and usually are) two sponsors; in this case, there must be one male and one female.
Since one must be a full member of the Catholic Church to sponsor another person to be received into the communion of the Catholic Church, only Catholics can be sponsors/godparents. However, if a child being baptized has only one sponsor/godparent, a non-catholic Christian may serve as an additional witness of the Baptism and be recorded as such.
At Holy Cross Parish, parents of children to be baptized are asked to attend a baptismal preparation session. Call or email Fr. Osvaldo to schedule the session.
Because Sunday is the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, it is the preferred day for Baptism. At Holy Cross Parish, Baptisms generally take place immediately after the 9 AM Sunday or Saturday (by appointment). If weekends are not an option, a Baptism could we celebrated during the weekday.
It is customary (but not obligatory) that the child to be baptized wears white garments for the ceremony. Everything else required for the ceremony is supplied by the parish.
Everyone is welcome to attend the Mass and the Baptism. If you have non-catholic relatives or friends who would prefer not to attend the Mass (or they can attend to Mass, after you instruct them about not taking Communion), they are most welcome to come after Mass for the Baptism.