In receiving Baptism these children obtain as a gift an indelible spiritual seal, the “character” that inwardly marks their belonging to the Lord for ever and makes them living members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church. While they become part of the People of God, today a journey begins for these children which must be a journey of holiness and of conformation to Jesus, a reality that is placed within them like the seed of a splendid tree whose growth must be nurtured.
Pope Benedict XVI
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.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213)
It is diocesan policy that every parish provide a full and adequate preparation programme for infant baptism, and that attendance be required for parents having their first child baptised, as well as for others when appropriate. Godparents should also attend when possible. This can be arranged through the Parish Office, or by speaking with Father.
The canonical requirements should be fully respected which require for an infant to be baptised that there be ‘a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic faith.’ If such a hope is truly lacking, the baptism should be delayed until the parents are ready to take on the serious responsibilities involved in having their children baptised (Canon 868). This is why the proper preparation of parents for the baptism of their children is so essential.
Because of the requirements pertaining to baptism preparation, it is very important to notify the Parish Priest of an impending baptism so that arrangements can be made in good time.
Baptism in one’s own parish community
The Code of Canon Law encourages that “as a rule and unless a just reason suggests otherwise, an adult is to be baptised in his or her proper parish church, and an infant in the proper parish church of the parents”.
Therefore if you would like to have your child baptised at Corpus Christi, but are not registered in the parish or regularly worship here, you should seek the permission of your Parish Priest before making arrangements.
The canonical requirements regarding the choice of godparents should be respected. A godparent represents the Catholic Church, and must therefore be a confirmed, practising Catholic aged 16 or above (Canon 874). Other committed Christians may be invited to be ‘Christian Witnesses’ at the baptism.