Jesus answered: Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
– John 3:3-5
Welcome to the Baptism page at Sacred Heart Catholic Church!
We are so excited that you have taken this step to baptize your child into God’s family. Please find all of the information on how baptism works in the Catholic Church at our parish specifically on this webpage.
“By Baptism we become members of the Church, the Body of Christ.”
The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters. . . . Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father. By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin – Original and actual – and begin to live a new life with God.
In Baptism, the Holy Spirit moves us to answer Christ’s call to holiness. In Baptism, we are asked to walk by the light of Christ and to trust in his wisdom. We are invited to submit our hearts to Christ with ever deeper love.” –USCCB
I’ve decided to baptize my child….what does that mean?
Learning about baptism and what it means to be baptized into God’s family is a ministry that the Church traditionally directs to adults. This means that when you come to baptize your child, you will learn what that baptism means, as the parent of the child. If you have an older child whom you intend to baptize, the baptism preparation will be given directly to them.
The Catholic Church calls infant baptism the baptism of any child under age 7. If you desire to baptize a child age 7 or over please enroll them in the RCIA adapted for children.
“Catechesis for Baptism is directed primarily to adults: that is, catechumens including children who have reached the age of reason-as well as the parents and godparents of infants who are to be baptized. All those preparing for Baptism, including parents and godparents who are preparing for the Baptism of an infant or child, need the prayerful support and apostolic witness of the people of the local community of faith – the parish. This preparation is an especially important opportunity for the Church to encourage the parents and godparents of infants to reexamine the meaning of the Christian message in their own lives.” (National Directory for Catechesis)
What do I do next?
Parents and Godparents are required to attend the preparation classes. Preparation takes place in three classes which occur the three first Tuesdays of the month. The first Tuesday of the month, aka the first class, is an Orientation for the parents and registration for Baptism. (Godparents are not required to attend the first Tuesday). The following two Tuesdays after that are the preparation classes. We strongly suggest you attend these sessions early in your pregnancy to avoid any disappointment in choosing a Baptism date.
If you wish to baptize your child, you must first attend a baptism registration session. In order to attend this you must first call the Parish Office to register for this session. You will be given a date, time and location of when this session is available for you to come. Our English Baptism Registrations are every other month, our Spanish are every month.
At the registration session, you will be given the guidelines for baptizing your child and any questions you have will be answered. Please bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate and the child’s godparents Sacrament of Matrimony information from the Catholic Church they were married in, if a couple. If an individual a copy of the most recent certificate of all sacraments. Godparents must be at least 18 years of age.
Does RCIA sound familiar to you? If so, you might know that it stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults!
So what is the RCIA for children?
Usually parents come to the parish seeking to baptize their children just to find out that their children don’t qualify for regular baptism classes because they’re over the age of seven! To baptize children who have reached the age of 7 or older requires the RCIA. It might seem counterintuitive to put children into a process whose name contains the word “adult,” but according to the canon laws regulating the Catholic Church, children who have reached the age of 7 have the same sacramental rights as adults.
The norms established for the Christian Initiation of Children Who Have Reached Catechetical Age are outlined in Part II, Chapter 1 of the official Church document Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA #252330). It states the following about the RCIA for children:
“This form of the rite of Christian initiation is intended for children not baptized as infants, who have attained the use of reason and are of catechetical age. They seek Christian initiation either at the direction of their parents or guardians or, with parental permission, on their own initiative. Such children are capable of receiving and nurturing a personal faith and of recognizing an obligation of conscience.” (RCIA #252)
The initiation of children of catechetical age is a process based on their personal conversion. There is also a RCIA for adults over the age of 18, but their preparation and classes are separated from those your children will receive.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
Ever heard of the RCIA before? Perhaps someone said it so fast you thought it was one word. Maybe it means nothing to you!
RCIA stands for the “Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.” It is a program modeled on the conversion experiences of those who became Christian in the very first centuries of Christianity. It is intended for adults who have never been baptized as well as those who were baptized in non-Catholic Christian communities.
RCIA practices an open-enrollment. What this means is that, unlike some other classes at your local church which might have a start and stop date, you can always join into the RCIA at any point in the year. This might seem overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be. We’re here to help you figure things out and to help you see the beauty of the Catholic faith and the love of Christ. Feel free to reach out and we’ll help you get started.
For more information please contact the parish office.
Join our church database
Our Church database is an online system called Connect Now. This system allows parishioners to create an account to view and change the personal information that the church has on file for your family. Connect Now helps us have the most current information in our records and it allows you to see your information, giving history, and even upload a photo.
Faith formation registration
Connect Now also changes how families can register for RCIA. Families will need to create an account on Connect Now. After you’ve established your account, you will need to make an appointment with Daniela Gonzalez to register for RCIA. Access to this system must be verified by our church office before you can log on to view your information. You will receive an email once your account is ready.
To create an account and access your family’s information, please visithere. When using a mobile device, please click “Full Site” at the bottom of the screen. If you continue to have trouble, try using a desktop/laptop or call the church office at936-521-3711. If you are having trouble creating a new account, you can also view this trainingvideo.
Seek and You Shall Find
Faith Formation Registration
View all of the requirements for Baptism in English and Spanish.
Steps to follow for Baptism at Sacred Heart Catholic Church:
Call the Parish Office 936-756-8186 or go to the office and REGISTER for the Baptism Orientation and Classes
Attend the Orientation and complete all Paperwork, providing the documentation (Birth Certificate of child to be baptized)
Attend Class #1: Theology
Attend Class #2: Baptismal Symbols and Ceremony (Receive Confirmation of date of Baptism at this class)
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