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Baptism

The sacrament of Baptism is normally administered by Bishops and parish priests, who are the ordinary ministers of this sacrament. The matter of Baptism is natural water which is poured on the person to be baptized in such a quantity as to flow. The form of Baptism is: "I baptize thee in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."

Baptism is absolutely necessary to salvation, for Jesus Christ has expressly said: "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God." In case of necessity or mortal danger, any person can administer the sacrament of Baptism, provided that the proper matter and form are used by that person in performing the rite of Baptism, and that that person has the intention of doing what the Church does. (More here.)

Infants should be brought to the Church to be baptized as soon as possible because, on account of their tender age, they are exposed to many dangers of death, and cannot be saved without Baptism. Parents and family who, through negligence, allow their children to die without Baptism sin grievously, because they deprive their children of eternal life. They also sin grievously who, by putting off Baptism for a long time, expose children to the danger of dying without having received it.

Persons who are baptized as adults should have, besides faith and proper instruction, at least imperfect contrition for the mortal sins they may have committed. If an adult in mortal sin were to be baptized without such sorrow, that person would receive the character of Baptism, but not the remission of sins nor sanctifying grace. These two effects would be suspended, until the obstacle is removed by perfect contrition or by the sacrament of Penance.

Baptized Christians are bound always to profess the faith and observe the Law of Jesus Christ and of His Church. In receiving holy Baptism we renounce, for ever, the devil, his works and his pomps, which are sin and the attitudes and expectations of the world that are contrary to the counsels of the Gospel. We are obliged to observe the baptismal promises and renunciations we made or that were pronounced for us as infants by our godparents, because it is only on this condition that God has received us into His grace.

Baptismal godfathers and godmothers are those persons who, in accordance with the decree of the Church, hold the infants at the font, answer for them, and become guarantees in the sight of God for their Christian education, especially in the absence of the parents. Parents and adults desiring Baptism should choose as godfathers and godmothers, Christians of virtue and good life, and obedient to the laws of the Church. Godfathers and godmothers are bound to see that their spiritual children are instructed in the truths of faith and are encouraged to live as good Christians, and they should edify them by their good example. Godfathers and godmothers contract a spiritual relationship with the baptized and with the parents of the baptized, which causes an impediment to marriage with these persons.
 
Parents and adults desiring Baptism should choose the name of a saint under whose protection and heavenly patronage the new Christian is to be placed, and whose example may serve to edify and inspire virtue.
 
Please contact us if you would like to learn more or desire the sacrament of Baptism for yourself or for someone in your care.