The Sacrament of Baptism is the first sacrament to be received. Baptism is the foundation of our life in Christ and the beginning of a lifelong journey of discipleship. Through baptism we are freed from sin and incorporated into the family of God and we become members of the Church, the living body of Christ. Today, as it was in the days of the apostles, water is poured over the person being baptized while the celebrant announces: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Catholic families are encouraged to baptize their children soon after birth. However, the Sacrament of Baptism can be received at any age. Whether a person is baptized as an infant or as an adult, Baptism is the initial way a person experiences the embrace and mercy of our loving God.
At St. Ambrose Parish, infant and child baptisms are celebrated after the necessary Pre-Baptism preparation session. Please call the parish office to register for the class and to schedule your child’s baptism. We have a special class for pre-kindergarten 3 to 7 years old. Contact Deacon Bill for more information on this special class.
Adults and children of catechetical age (9 years) who have not been baptized participate in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
Guidelines for St. Ambrose Baptism:
1. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must be registered and practicing St. Ambrose Parishioners for at least three months or have a letter from your most recent parish pastor indicating your membership in good standing.
2. Clergy have a responsibility (obligation) to have reasonable confidence that the child will be raised in the faith before agreeing to a Baptism. One way we can gain this confidence is by your weekly Mass attendance. If you are not attending weekly Mass, please consider your child’s Baptism as the opportunity to start. Please say Hi so we can get to know your family better.
3. Canon Law requires a Baptismal Preparation Session. It is highly recommended that the Godparents attend.
4. Godparents – At least one Godparent must be fully initiated and a practicing Catholic. The other Godparent may be a Christian witness. If both Godparents are Catholic, one female and one male.
5. Baptism are typically done at the Mass you normally attended, except during Lent and Advent. Your child’s Baptism is a Parish wide event, a public celebration. That is why Baptism during Mass is preferred. Other arrangements can be made for family reasons.
A date for Baptism may be set after the Baptism Preparation Session. Typically Baptism Preparation Session are scheduled every quarter. We can make other arrangements if needed.
Baptismal registration forms for Parents and Godparents are available in the office or at the web site (http://www.saintambroseparish.org/join-us/forms-forms-and-more-forms.html) BAPTISMAL FORM PARENT and BAPTISMAL FORM GODPARENT. Please fill them out and drop them off at the office or in the collection basket.
A Message from Father Steve:
A word about the role of godparent and/or sponsor for Baptism and/or Confirmation: One of the expectations is that the one chosen is living a life in harmony with the Church. The one chosen is expected to a fully initiated Catholic (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist). Further, and this one is very important, the one chosen as a godparent or sponsor MUST be registered and participating in a parish. The Pastor of this parish is expected to attest that the one chosen to serve as godparent or sponsor meets all the criteria. I take this responsibility very seriously. Sometimes I get requests to attest to someone’s practice of the Catholic faith who doesn’t currently belong to any Church…but maybe went to St. Ambrose School or used to go to St. Ambrose Church or whose parents are current members of St. Ambrose. I cannot in good conscience attest to their suitability. ANYONE OVER THE AGE OF 18 SHOULD REGISTER IN A PARISH OR NEWMAN CENTER AS SOON AS THEY LEAVE HOME. This will make the process much easier. Bottom line: Make sure you are registered in a parish or Newman Center AND truly living your Catholic faith.