What is the Sacrament of Baptism?

From the apostolic times, to become a Christian is followed by a journey and an initiation that consists of several stages.

This road can be traveled quickly or slowly and always includes some essential elements:

  • The proclamation of the Word
  • The reception of the Gospel that leads to conversion
  • The profession of faith
  • The baptism
  • The outpouring of the Holy Spirit
  • Access to Eucharistic communion

Since the baptism of the children became the habitual form of celebration of this sacrament, it has become a unique act that integrates very abbreviated the stages previous to the Christian initiation. By its very nature, Baptism of children demands a post-baptismal catechumenate. It is not only a question of the need for instruction after Baptism, but of the necessary development of baptismal grace in the growth of the person. It is the proper moment of catechesis.

The great mystery given in the Sacrament of Baptism is a rich reality that reveals that: through the baptism Original Sin is forgiven, we are consecrated and adopted by God who has made us his sons and daughters, we have been initiated into the Body of Christ (which is the Church), and our human bodies have become consecrated as “Temples of the Holy Spirit.”

To celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism of a child, the following is required:

  • Baptisms in English are offered on Saturdays at 11 am.
  • Only children under 7 years of age may be baptized prior to beginning their catechetical training. However, if the child is 7 years of age or older, he/she should be registered in a Religious Education Program.
  • Only the parents or legal guardians of a child may register a child for baptism.
  • We invite all families to please register your children early at the Shrine Office in order to choose the desired date for the baptism.
  • The parents must present the birth certificate of the child to be baptized. Note that the information on the Baptismal Certificate will be made according to the official information contained in the child´s birth certificate.
  • The Shrine requests a donation of $ 100.00 in support of our ministry to the community.

Godparents:

  • All godparents that are married couples, must have celebrated the Sacrament of Marriage in the Catholic Church.
  • If a godparent is single, they must be at least 16 years of age and must have received the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist). Those who have not chosen to live their lives incongruous with the Catholic faith are not considered qualified to become godparents for the Sacrament.
  • Only Roman Catholic Christians and those in Churches with full Communion with the Catholic Church are qualified candidates to be godparents in a baptism. Persons who profess to be Atheists, Protestants, or profess another religious creed are not eligible to be godparents for baptism and are asked to please respect these norms of the Church.

Pre-Baptismal Classes:

  • Parents and Godparents must take a pre-baptismal class before the baptism. A certificate of completion will be given after the class that will be valid for two years.
  • If the godparents cannot attend the class at the Shrine, they can register and attend the class in another Catholic parish. The certificate of completion must be presented to the Shrien Office no later than two weeks before the date of baptism.

For more information on the requirements for baptizing your child, please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience. We look forward to hearing from you!