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Baptism is the first step, the gate, toward providing a spirituality for Christian living. It is the invitation to begin formation that hands on the faith that the apostles received from Christ. Baptism begins the process of conversion and discipleship. It incorporates persons into the mystery of Christ and into the faith community. “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway of life in the Spirit...and the door which gives access to the other sacraments...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”(CCC-1213). “I solemnly assure you, no one can enter into God’s kingdom without being begotten of water and Spirit”(John 3:4)
“Baptism is therefore, above all, the sacrament of the faith by which, enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we respond to the Gospel of Christ. That is why the Church believes that it is its most basic and necessary duty to inspire all, catechumens, parents of children still to be baptized, and godparents, to that true and living faith by which they hold fast to Christ and enter into or confirm their commitment to the New Covenant. In order to enliven such faith, the Church prescribes the pastoral instruction of catechumens, the preparation of the children’s parents, the celebration of God’s word, and the profession of faith at the celebration of baptism” (RCIA-3)
RCIA (Adults)/RCIC (Children)
Uncatechized persons from other Christian traditions and unbaptized adults, who seek full initiation within the Church, must be admitted to the Catechumenate (CCL-851:1 and 865. RCIA-751:1 and Statute 6). Baptized, uncatechized Catholics should be prepared for the sacraments in a process other than the catechumenate.
Unbaptized children, who have attained the “age of reason,” are to be admitted to the catechumenate process adapted for children (CCL-852:1, RCIA-19, and National Statutes-18, 1988) (age of reason a child who has completed their seventh year).
Infants & Children under 7 years old
Infants are presented for baptism by the desire and obligation of parents/guardians (CCL-867). The Church requires that parents/guardians provide a reasonable hope for the infant’s upbringing in the faith as the basis of a licit baptism (CCL-868).
Only a parent or legal guardian can give permission for a child to be baptized.
Primarily directed towards the adults who are parents, guardians and sponsors. The themes for reflection are.
· Meaning of Sacraments of Initiation
· Community called Church
· Responsibilities of Membership
For Adults & Children over age 7
Primarily directed toward the individual and sponsors. Classes meet once a week starting in the fall until Sacraments are received at Easter Vigil. Registration is required and a copy of State Issued Birth Certificate is required. For more information, please contact Ray Torres, RCIA/RCIC Coordinator 719-850-1923.
PARENTAL ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES FOR INFANTS AND CHILDREN UNDER 7:
· Transmission of faith
· Ongoing faith formation
· Personal involvement in mission of Church
DIOCESAN REGULATIONS FOR INFANT & CHILDREN UNDER 7 BAPTISMS:
The Diocese of Pueblo expects parishes to provide a minimum of four to six hours of catechesis for the parents/guardians involved in the baptism of a child.
SAN JUAN CATHOLIC COMMUNITY REQUIREMENTS FOR INFANTS AND CHILDREN UNDER 7:
- All SJCC Baptisms must be registered at St. Joseph Church in Monte Vista.
- Parents from outside the SJCC must submit a form from their priest, giving permission to baptize outside of their home parish.
- Parents are required to have 4 hours of catechesis on the Sacrament of Baptism to have been completed within no more than two years. If classes are completed outside the SJCC, a letter from that church must be submitted to the SJCC office.
- The SJCC Baptism Prep Classes consists of 2 sessions at two hours each. The sessions are held at a lead couple’s home, St. Joseph in Monte Vista or St. Francis Jerome in Center.
- God Parents must have Baptism Preparation class to have been completed within no more than two years. If classes are completed outside the SJCC, a letter from that church must be submitted to the SJCC office.
- A copy of your child’s state issued birth certificate must be submitted to the SJCC office before the baptism can take place.
- Copies of Confirmation certificates for Sponsors , and letter of good standing from their current Parish if outside of SJCC. If certificates are unavailable, please submit a verification letter from the Parish where Confirmations were received or a
- Parents must have an interview with the deacon before the baptism date is scheduled through the office.
- Fee- Baptism Preparation Fee: $10.00 to be paid at the time of registration.
Godparents/Sponsors Purpose and responsibly
Insofar as possible one to be baptized is to be given a sponsor who is to assist the adult in Christian initiation, or together with the parents, to present an infant at baptism, and who will help the baptized to lead a Christian life in harmony with baptism, and to fulfill faithfully the obligations connected with it.
Number of sponsors/Godparents
Only one male or one female sponsor or one of each sex is to be employed (CCL-873). (The commentary on this canon says the purpose is to exclude the multiplication of sponsors. The norm is: “Each child may have a Godfather and a Godmother.” It assumes that an adult will have only one sponsor but a second one is not excluded.)
Qualifications of Godparents/Sponsors:
To be admitted to the role of sponsor, a person must:
· Be designated by the one to be baptized or by the parents of the one who takes their place or, in their absence, by the pastor or minister and is to have the qualifications and intention of performing this role.
· Have completed the sixteenth year, unless the diocesan bishop has established a different age or if it seems to the pastor or minister that an exception is to be made for a just cause.
· Be a Catholic who has been baptized, confirmed and has already received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken.
· The sponsor can not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.
- A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may not be admitted except as a witness to baptism and together with a Catholic sponsor. If there is only one sponsor/Godparent that person must be Catholic.