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The Christian Community of St Mary of the Visitation Parish is eager to welcome your child as a member of Godís family in Baptism. The celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism occurs regularly at our parish. The majority of our celebrations occur during Mass on a scheduled Lord's Day Mass. Please contact the parish office and the secretary will complete a preliminary form with you. You will then meet with our pastor and together a date is arranged with him.
It is a good idea to call several months in advance before the desired date of Baptism. Sometimes couples contact the parish office even before their baby has been born. For families unfamiliar with our parish, we encourage you to register, to become familiar by attending Mass regularly with our community and to seek Baptism after a time of preparation. Get to know us and let us get to know you. In either case, thank you for considering Baptism for your child. It's wonderful that you wish to share your faith with your child in this way. We offer an excellent Children's Ministry at the parish to assist families and parents in making the Lord's Day special. If we can help you in any way, please ask.
Teens or Adult Baptism or Confirmation (RCIA)
Our parish is blessed each year with teens and adults who consider receiving the Sacraments of the Church. In some cases these have been members of our other faith communities or Christian Churches and are now seeking to become members of the Catholic Church. Others are already Catholics who have not received their Sacraments as young children and now seek these. We are pleased to meet with you to discuss the opportunities we have each year for you to become a full member of the Catholic Church. Please contact the parish office and speak with Father Freitas.
RCIC - Plugged In (Older Children)Recent changes to our Diocesan policy have indicated that children who have passed the usual age for First Communion (above grade 2), and have not been Baptized, are to prepare to receive all the Sacraments of Initiation at once. The model for older children is thus similar to the process for adults who, when they are Baptized, also are Confirmed and receive their First Holy Communion at Easter. Beginning this Fall we will be introducing "Plugged In", a group for children, and their parents, who gather on Monday evenings to prepare for their full initiation into the Church (also called the RCIC). Please contact the parish office and speak with Father Freitas. registrations are underway.
One of the most important decisions which a Parent must make at the time of the Baptism of their child is who will the godparents be? This question is often mixed with emotion, family pressures, the friendship factor and other considerations. We offer the following for your prayerful consideration.
The Church teaches that in order to qualify as a godparent the candidate is required to be:
- 16 years of age
- Appointed by the parents, guardians or parish priest
- A baptized Roman Catholic who has been confirmed and received Holy Communion
- In good standing with the Catholic Church (for example, if married, was married before a priest or deacon, is not cohabiting outside of marriage).
- Is not the biological father or mother of the child to be baptized
- One male or one female sponsor or one of each
- Is regularly participating in the life of the Roman Catholic Church thru attendance at Sunday Mass
Non-Catholic Christians may participate in the Catholic rites of Baptism, but they cannot offer the guarantees required of the Godparent, so they are referred to as "Christian witnesses." Those guarantees involve a commitment to foster the faith received by the child from the Church at Baptism. Non-baptized individuals cannot serve as a godparent or witness to the baptism
The Role of the Godparents
- Pray for the godchild regularly
- Set an example of Christian living
- Help the godchild to grow in he faith of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in whose life he or she was baptized
- Give every encouragement to follow Christ
- Help the godchild to look forward to Confirmation and, ideally, to be the Confirmation sponsor.
How to Choose the Godparents
- Look for active, faith-filled Catholics
- Admire their faith first over the value of their friendship
- Keep your child's faith first and the feelings of others second
- Be honest: half-hearted faith yields half-hearted godparents
- Set the bar of expectations high for you child's sake
- Consider if the godparents will be a part of your child's life 25 years from now
- Don't rush it; pray and give it time