The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.

At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)

Freed from Sin

Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”

The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).

Baptismal Symbols

  • Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
  • Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
  • Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
  • White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

While in ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1284).

Responsibilites of Christian Parents

You have asked to have your children baptised. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith.  It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbor. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking? -Rite of Baptism of Children

When parents bring their child for baptism they are asking the Church to welcome this child. The child is reborn as a child of God in the waters of baptism. Yet this new spiritual life which God gives the child is entrusted to the parents and Godparents. This new life, this light of Christ, is to be kept burning brightly. This means parents are taking up the grave responsibility to bring their children up in the church. This means bringing them to Mass, teaching them how to pray, and teaching them right from wrong. It is difficult at times to live by God’s laws, but in living by God’s laws we come to the fullness of joy. In having their child baptized, parents are committing to live a Catholic life according to the precepts of the church, and to help raise their child to live by those same precepts. The request for baptism presupposes an intention to have the child educated in the faith.

The Duties of Godparents

Parents should choose godparents very carefully. Godparents should be people of extraordinary virtue and faith, an example to the child and even to the parents of life well lived in Christ. Godparents must be at least 16 years old confirmed and practicing Catholics. You may have up to one male and one female godparent. A baptized non-Catholic may act as a Christian witness and place of one of the godparents. If the godparent is unable to attend the baptism someone else may stand in their place as a proxy.

As there is some confusion, it should be noted that Godparents are not necessarily the people who you would ask to adopt the child if something would happen to you. Godparents are the people that you ask to pray for you on a frequent basis so that you might be a good parent.




Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (John 3:5)

Baptism at St. Joseph Church

The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated every Sunday at 12:45 P.M. Baptism is occasionally celebrated during Mass or at another time by special request.

The family must be registered members of St. Joseph Parish or have permission from their pastor.

A Baptism Class is offered on the second Thursday of each month. The parents of the child to be baptized will meet with a deacon to discuss the responsibilties of Christian parents, the ceremony, the meaning of the sacrament, the responsibilities of Godparents, and other practical considerations. 

Contact the Parish Office to set a date for a Baptism and sign up for the Baptism Class.

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