The Sacrament of Baptism
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, 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.
Catechism of the Catholic Church 1213
For More Information Please Contact the Parish Office, 603-279-4403.
Congratulations! We rejoice with you as you look forward to and plan for your child's Baptism. It is natural for you to want to give the very best to your child, and we are glad that providing for your child includes a deep concern for his/her spiritual life. The joy and peace that comes from a relationship with God is the best gift that your child could ever receive. Your child is fortunate to have you plan for his/her spiritual growth by making these preparations for Baptism. Baptism is considered the single most important religious moment in the life of a person. Our parish community wants your child to have a close relationship with God and we are committed to offering you all the help we can give. Our prayers are with your family.
THE MISSION OF OUR CHRISTIAN FORMATION
The mission of all our Christian formation programs is to help people become committed followers of the Jesus Christ. Our formation programs aim to unlock the riches of the sacraments, scripture, prayer and the Christian life. Sacraments are the meeting grounds between God and His people. The process of Christian Initiation begins with preparation for Baptism and then is lived out throughout one's life - which involves a continual turning toward Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
The Catholic journey towards God, however, is not a solitary one --- we live and move as a community --- as the People of God --- His Church. The Catholic Church is God's gift to us. It is in this Church that you are asking your child to be initiated into!
When an adult is baptized, Baptism follows a rigorous period of instruction. In contrast, when a child is baptized, the Baptism precedes instruction. In light of this, the Church requires that parents give the assurance that, upon the child's Baptism, the child will be given every benefit of Christian and Catholic upbringing. The primary responsibility of raising a child in the ways of faith rests with the parents. This obligation begins with Baptism and extends all the way into adulthood. Our parish is always happy to assist parents in their role as primary educators of their children in the ways of faith.
If parents are not able to give this assurance or make this solemn commitment to the Church, they should consider delaying Baptism until they are prepared to make a serious commitment to undertake these responsibilities.
1. Church law permits priests to baptize the children of parents who are full time or part time residents of their parish. Except in an emergency, the Rite of Baptism can only be celebrated in a Catholic church building.
2. Infants from outside the parish may be baptized at St. Charles with the written permission of their pastor. Parents are responsible to make arrangements for us to receive this letter one month before the Baptism. Parents may be asked to attend formation programs in their home parishes before permission is granted.
3. St. Charles Borromeo Parish is happy to offer parent formation concerning the responsibilities of Christian/Catholic parenting. Parents will attend this formation at the parish office. Parents may find it convenient to attend this formation during the pregnancy.
1. Godparents should be chosen by parents primarily to be good religious examples to their child and not because they want to bestow a family/social honor. Godparents will be asked to assist parents in teaching the child about the Christian faith and are required to provide an example of the Christian life. As representatives of the Christian community, Godparents give witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ, in word and example.
2. The parish is responsible to make parents aware of the requirements concerning Godparents:
(A) Only one male Godfather and one female Godmother should be chosen.
(B) At least one Godparent must be a practicing Catholic (which means that he/she must have been baptized, received their Confirmation and First Communion and must be actively practicing their Catholic religion).
(C) The birth mother or the father of a child are not permitted to serve as a Godparent.
(D) Parents may choose one Godparent (Christian Witness) that is of another CHRISTIAN religion whom they determine will be a good example of Christian living for their child. (Canon Laws 872-874)
3. Godparents who are not members of St. Charles Borromeo parish are requested to obtain a "Certificate of Eligibility" or "Sponsor Certificate" from their local parish priest. This certificate should be provided to the parish prior to scheduling the baptism.
Ordinarily, Baptisms will be celebrated during the Saturday 5:00 PM or the Sunday 10:30 AM Mass.
Parents may also request an individual celebration of their child's Baptism. Arrangements should be made with the Pastor by calling the parish office.
Catholic clergymen (in good standing with the Church) who are a family member or a friend are welcomed to celebrate an individual baptism ceremony at St. Charles. Arrangements need to be made with the Pastor well in advance. All baptisms must take place inside of the Church building.
WHAT IS THE DONATION TO THE CHURCH?
Many parents and godparents inquire about a donation to the Church on the occasion of a child's Baptism. Although there is no stipend requested, donations are gratefully accepted.
AFTER READING THIS, YOU SHOULD:
1. Call the parish office 603-279-4403 between the hours of 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM to begin the preparation process and to provide information concerning the child.
2. Participate at a Parent Enrichment session at the church. The parish office will contact the parents after the proper information has been received by the parish office.
PLEASE BE SURE TO BRING THE CERTIFICATES OF ELIGIBILITY FOR YOUR GODPARENTS WHO ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE PARISH AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Please call if you have any questions!