Baptism at St. Thomas More
Baptism is one of the sacraments of initiation through which we are given a share in the life of the Risen Jesus and are commissioned to carry on, within the Church community, the work of the Risen Jesus in the world today. I n other words, Ba ptism is the sacrament through which we begin our “initiation” into the Body of Christ. This initiation is completed when one receives First Eucharist and is confirmed.
Baptism of Infants and Children Under the Age of 7
Although persons can be baptized at any age, persons are typically baptized within a year of their birth. In the case of infants and children under the age of 7, normally no special preparation of the child is warranted. Parents or guardians bring the child to the Church and speak for the child during the ceremony.
Baptism of Children 7 years old or older
Parents of children who have reached the age of 7 and who have not yet been baptized will normally participate in a special preparation program that leads to their baptism, Confirmation, and reception of First Eucharist all at once. Interested parents should speak with Michele McHale-Pickard, the Director of Faith Formation, at: email@example.com, or 404-378-4588.
Baptism of Adults, 18 years old or older
Adults who wish to be baptized normally participate in an intensive preparation program known as the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) ‘ RCIA Involves both instruction in Catholic teachings, traditions, and practices as well as prayer and other activities designed to deepen their relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ and to promote their integration into the Church community. For more information, contact Michele McHale-Pickard, Director of Faith Formation, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 404-378-4588, or go to “Adult Faith Formation” and click on Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).
Unless they have completed a baptism preparation program within the last three years, parents who wish to have their infant and young child baptized at STM are expected to participate in a baptism preparation program. We encourage, but do not require, sponsors, or godparents, to also participate In this preparation program.
St. Thomas More offers an approved preparation program each month in the St. Julie Room in the STM parish offices. The program normally lasts about an hour and is offered free of charge.
Parents and sponsors whose child is to be baptized at STM may take an approved preparation program offered at another Catholic parish. Also, parents and sponsors whose child is to be baptized in a church other than St, Thomas More may take STM’s preparation program in satisfaction of that other church’s requirements.
Parents and interested sponsors can register for an STM baptism prep program.
Scheduling an Infant or Young Child’s Baptism
St. Thomas More offers several options for the baptism of an infant or young child. The preferred option is to schedule the baptism during a Sunday Eucharist so that the faith community which the infant or child is joining is able to participate in the baptism ritual. The second option is to schedule the baptism at a monthly communal ceremony on selected Sundays at 2pm. The third and least favored option is to schedule an individual baptism.
Parents or guardians should contact Andy Otto, Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation, at: email@example.com, or 404 378 4588 ext. 124.
The one to be baptized is required to have at least one sponsor, or godparent. However, two sponsors are permitted. If the parents or guardians choose to appoint two sponsors, one must be male and the other female. A sponsor: 1) must be baptized Catholic, must be confirmed, and must have received First Eucharist, 2) must be at least 16 years old, and 3) must be living “in harmony with the (Catholic) faith” and have the intention of carrying out the responsibilities of a sponsor. When the one to be baptized is a child, those responsibilities include assisting the parents or guardians in raising the child in the practice of the Catholic faith.
If you are a member of STM and must provide a Certificate of Sponsorship for a baptism occurring elsewhere, fill out the top portion of this letter, ensuring you meet the qualifications, and return to the parish office (or email firstname.lastname@example.org) for the pastor to sign off. We will then return it to you or have it sent to the church requesting it. Certificate of Sponsorship Letter
If the parents or guardians choose to have only one sponsor for the child, they may choose to appoint a “Christian witness.” This witness need not be Catholic, but he or she must be a baptized Christian with a “convinced faith in Christ.”
Before a baptism of an infant or child under the age of 18 can be scheduled, parents must complete a Baptism Registration Form and send it to Andy Otto, Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation, at: email@example.com.
Once the baptism takes place, parents will receive a certificate of baptism, and a permanent record of the baptism will be kept at STM.