The parish family of Holy Cross rejoices with you on the occasion of the birth and baptism of your child. “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1213.) We hope you will join our parish community in actively building God’s kingdom through ongoing participation in our worship, faith formation and service to others.
A Communal Sacrament
The Catechism reminds us that “Baptism incorporates us into the Church” and “makes us members of the Body of Christ” (No. 1267.) Holy Cross celebrates baptism in the midst of the Christian community – either at Sunday Mass or at a service with other families. The service takes place two Sunday afternoons each month, beginning at 1 PM. To ensure the dignity of each celebration, Holy Cross limits the number of children baptized at each. With the permission of our pastor, you may provide your own presider for the sacrament. Our parish staff will assist you in obtaining the permission and scheduling this ceremony.
Preparation for the Sacrament
Holy Cross’ baptism program will help you prepare for that special day in your child’s life. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission” (No. 1213.) Call the parish office and schedule the celebration of the sacrament as soon as possible, but at least six weeks in advance of the desired date. A member of our parish’s staff will schedule a meeting with you to explain the celebration of the sacrament at Holy Cross, answer any questions you may have and collect the information needed by the Church.
The Role and Responsibility of Sponsors
When you extend the invitation to family or friends to be a sponsor, you are asking them to make a lifelong commitment to your child, beginning with baptism. In infant baptism, the sponsors, with the parents, present the child for baptism and help the baptized lead the Christian life and fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent to it (can. 872.) The Church requires a sponsor be a baptized and confirmed Catholic over 16 years old, who regularly participates in the Eucharist and is an active member of a Catholic faith community, leading a life in harmony with the duty they are undertaking. Each sponsor is asked to provide a letter from his or her own parish attesting to this fact. The Code of Canon Law goes on to state that one sponsor must be a male and the other sponsor must be a female. The parents of the child to be baptized may not act as sponsors.
Baptism Preparation Class
According to The Code of Canon Law, the parents of an infant to be baptized, and those who will be sponsors, should be suitably instructed about the meaning of the sacrament and the obligations that go with it (can. 851, 2°.) Given the fundamental importance of the sacrament of baptism in your child’s faith life, Holy Cross invites all parents and sponsors to attend a baptism preparation class where you will join with other families in learning more about the sacrament of baptism and the commitment it requires of you as parents. Holy Cross extends a special welcome to non-Catholic parents and encourages their participation in these sessions.
Celebration of the Sacrament
Families are asked to arrive at church 15 minutes prior to the start of the baptism celebration, where seating will be reserved for you. Upon arrival, families should check in with the sacristan or baptism hospitality minister. During the celebration, your whole family will be invited up to the font, where siblings or young children will have a special role to play in the ceremony.
Questions or Concerns
Our Pastoral Assistants at Holy Cross are available to discuss your questions or concerns. Please call the parish office directly at 732-842-0348.