“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.” - Matthew 28:19-20
Baptism at St. Brendan
Parents should plan to have newborn children baptized within the first weeks after birth. Please contact the parish office to schedule a baptism. If this is your first child, a meeting with the priest to discuss the meaning of baptism and your plan for raising your children in the Catholic faith may be required.
Canon law presumes that children who have reached the age of 7 are able to have a basic understanding of baptism and to choose it for themselves. This means that baptismal preparation for children of this age and older is more involved than in the case of infants.
When a child is baptized at age 7 or older, confirmation and first Holy Communion are also normally celebrated in the same ceremony. Ideally, this all takes place on the Saturday evening before Easter Sunday, though other dates may be possible.
If you need to arrange for the baptism of a child who is 7 or older, please contact the pastor to set up a meeting.
Adults seeking baptism in the Catholic Church are invited to inquire about our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) process: Becoming Catholic
Those who are baptized may have 1 godparent or 2 (1 male and 1 female). A godparent must: be at least 16 years old (the pastor may grant an exception for a just cause); be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on; not be bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared; not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized. (Code of Canon Law, canon 874.1).
A member of one of the Orthodox Churches may serve as a godparent together with a Catholic godparent (Directory for Ecumenism, n. 98).
A Christian of another denomination (not an ex-Catholic) may serve as a Christian witness together with a Catholic godparent (Code of Canon Law, canon 874.2).
Potential godparents who are not members of St. Brendan or who are not personally known to the pastor may be asked to provide a letter of suitability from their own parish.
The Gateway to Life in the Spirit
"Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”
The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters. . . . Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original and actual – and begin to live a new life with God.
In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer Christ's call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love.
To learn more about the Church’s teachings on baptism, you can visit the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website outlining church doctrine on Baptism and RCIA.
The Rite of Baptism for Children, Introduction (nos. 2-3) tell us:
“From the earliest times, the Church, to which the mission of preaching the Gospel and of baptizing was entrusted, has baptized not only adults but children as well. Our Lord said: ‘Unless a man is reborn in water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.’ The Church has always understood these words to mean that children should not be deprived of baptism, because they are baptized in the faith of the Church, a faith proclaimed for them by their parents and godparents, who represent both the local Church and the whole society of saints and believers: ‘The whole Church is the mother of all and the mother of each.’
To fulfill the true meaning of the sacrament, children must later be formed in the faith in which they have been baptized. The foundation of this formation will be the sacrament itself that they have already received. Christian formation, which is their due, seeks to lead them gradually to learn God’s plan in Christ, so that they may ultimately accept for themselves the faith in which they have been baptized.”