Jesus said to his disciples, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age" Mt 28:19-20. Baptism is our birth as Christians; we are baptized into Christ, and become members of his family. God comes to dwell in us, "If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and will make our abode with him" Jn 14:23.
With the help of God's grace, his Spirit living in us, we are able to grow more and more like him, to be transformed into his image and likeness, and we are given the promise of eternal life, a life of love, joy, peace, bliss ... If only we follow him and are willing to carry the cross as he did. And even in this life, even in the midst of trials and crosses, we have the deep joy and peace of knowing that Jesus is with us and loves us, and we are never alone - and the cross is not the end of the story. There is no greater gift than to belong to Christ and be a part of his family, the Church, the Body of Christ.
Baptism Preparation Information
Congratulations on your decision to have your child baptized into the Roman Catholic Church and St. Ann Parish Community - we look forward to welcoming this newest member of the family! Below is some information that should prove helpful in preparing for this sacrament:
Because there is some preparation that goes along with having your child baptized, we normally ask that you begin preparations approximately 4-6 weeks prior to the date proposed for the baptism. The actual date for the celebration of the sacrament must be scheduled with the Parish, and may be limited by other liturgical celebrations or seasons, so some flexibility is necessary.
There is a baptism preparation class that parents and godparents are asked to attend if they have not already done so. They are held at St. Ann on every first Saturday of the month at 3:00pm. The class may also be taken at another parish if that works better with your schedule and/or the schedule or location of the godparents. You will need to bring a certificate or letter from that parish stating the name/s of those who participated in the preparation class and the date of the class to St. Ann Parish prior to the baptism.
In having your child baptized, you are committing yourselves to bringing him or her up in the practice of the faith, so we ask that you become a member of the parish if you are not already, and celebrate Sunday Mass with us each week. In this way, you have the help and support of the community and the abundant graces of God through celebration of the Sacraments to help you raise your child to know and love God and be the best that he or she can be.
Godparents act as witnesses to what it means to live the faith and assist the parents in helping the child to grow in that faith. Because of this, the Church asks that Catholic godparents be fully initiated and living according to the teachings of the Church. This enables the godparents to assist the child in discovering the tremendous richness in our faith and to accompany the child on his faith journey.
More specifically, the Church's requirements for godparents are:
- Normally they are at least 16 years of age
- They are fully initiated members of the Roman Catholic Church (they have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Holy Communion, and Confirmation).
- They are Catholics in good standing, living according to the teachings of the faith, participating in Mass on the weekends, and living a lifestyle consistent with Church teachings.
- If married, the marriage must be recognized as valid by the Church.
- If they are not married, they should be living a life consistent with a single person as defined by the Church.
- There is to be only one male or one female godparent, or one of each.
- If they have not done so already, they are asked to attend a class or workshop on baptism in order to better understand their role as Godparent and the meaning of the sacrament.
- Godparents are asked to obtain a "Certificate of Eligibility" or similar document from their parish that states that they meet the above criteria and are eligible to be a godparent. Our Diocese has forms for this purpose which should be completed by the godparent and then presented to their parish to be signed and sealed - this serves as the “Certificate of Eligibility” that indicates the person meets the criteria to be a godparent.
- It is permissible to have one baptized person from a non-Catholic Church serve as a Christian witness together with a Catholic godparent. A Christian Witness cannot be a non-practicing Catholic.
If you would like any other information, please contact Antony Bishop by email or call the parish office (contact information below).
Have a blessed day!
Director of Faith Formation/Pastoral Assistant
Phone Number: (910) 483-3216
Baptism Preparation Class Dates
- April 6th, 2019 at 3:00pm
- May 4th, 2019 at 3:00pm
- June 1st, 2019 at 3:00pm
- July 6th, 2019 at 3:00pm
- August 3rd, 2019 at 3:00pm
- September 7th, 2019 at 3:00pm
- October 5th, 2019 at 3:00pm
- November 2nd, 2019 at 3:00pm
- December 7th, 2019 at 3:00pm
Click here for additional general information on the Sacrament of Baptism http://www.usccb.org/about/justice-peace-and-human-development/upload/baptism-handout.pdf.
For information on Baptism preparation at St. Ann Parish, please click on the link below or contact Antony Bishop (Director of Faith Formation) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 483-3216.