What is Baptism?
The Sacrament of Baptism is the foundation of Christian life and the first of the seven sacraments. Through Baptism we are born again, not on a physical level but a spiritual one. We are baptized into Jesus’ death and therefore, share in His Resurrection (Romans 6:3-7). Baptism cleanses us of the stain of original sin and brings the Holy Spirit and His grace into our souls (Acts 2:38, 22:16) where we become new members of the Body of Christ and the Catholic Church.
Contact your local parish if you are pregnant and planning to baptize your baby, or if you have a child who needs to be baptized.
If you are an adult desiring to be baptized or to simply learn more about becoming Catholic, contact your local parish and inquire about RCIA - Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults - to learn more
It is the very ancient custom of the Church that at the celebration of the sacrament of Baptism or Confirmation, a godparent/sponsor is present. The function of the godparent/sponsor is: a) together with the celebrant who baptizes or confirms, to represent the Church in receiving the person into the communion of the Church; and b) to support the person in living the Catholic Christian life.
In accord with Canon 874 of the Code of Canon Law, the Church can admit a person to the role of godparent/sponsor if: a) he or she is more than sixteen years of age; b) is a baptized Catholic who has been Confirmed, has already received the Blessed Eucharist, and lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken; and c) is neither the father or the mother of the person.
Given the functions and role a godparent/sponsor exercises, a non-Catholic Christian cannot be admitted as a godparent/sponsor; however, he or she can serve as a Christian witness at baptism, provided that there is a Catholic godparent (c. 874 2). A baptized Catholic who is sacramentally or canonically ineligible to serve as a godparent may not serve as a Christian witness. These include those who subsequently renounced the faith in favor of another church community or entity. Those unbaptized and those whose Baptism is not recognized by the Catholic Church may not serve in the role of Christian witness but are welcome to be present at the ceremony.
Note that the Catholic seeking to be admitted as a godparent/sponsor “lives a life of faith which befits the role to be undertaken.” This means that the candidate for godparent/sponsor: a) sincerely believes and strives to put into practice the Word of God as taught by the Catholic Church; b) prayerfully assists at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation; and c) if married, was married in accordance with the requirements of the Catholic Church. One godparent/sponsor is required. Two godparents/sponsors may be appointed provided one is male and the other female.