THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
"Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. 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: Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213).
This great gift is offered to all who believe and also to the children of families of faith. Since her earliest days, the Church has baptised adults and children because it is the only ordinary way God has revealed that we may receive the grace of salvation through this sharing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation. The other two are Confirmation and Holy Communion (Eucharist). It is common to have children baptised when they are infants and there are opportunities, especially at Easter time, for us all to renew our baptismal promises. Children typically receive the other Sacraments of Initiation after reaching age 7 and before age 16.
Following the spread of Christianity after the resurrection of Jesus, the Catholic Church developed a process to prepare adults for entry into the Church through the Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion (Eucharist). Today, the Church calls this process the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA. You can find out more information on this here. Through this process, those who express interest in becoming Catholic are welcomed into a group to learn about the teachings of Jesus and his Church, to have their questions answered, learn about the new life in Christ offered by baptism, and prepare for the reception of the Sacraments.
Baptism Preparation in the Parish is undertaken by the Pastoral Area, and is led by a group of dedicated lay catechists from the parishes within the Pastoral Area. It is co-ordinated by Deacon Richard Budgen and takes place on the first Wednesday of the month (excluding August and December) at 8.00 pm in our Parish Centre. It is a requirement to attend one preparation evening in order for the sacrament to be administered.
Please contact our parish priest to get started, or if you have an infant or child you want to be baptised. Nothing more than an interest in learning more about Catholicism is needed to begin. You will be welcomed and supported as you freely journey towards union with Christ and his Church. There will be no pressure!