"Catechesis for baptism is directed primarily to adults- adult candidates for baptism and parents and godparents of infants who are to be baptized. Preparation for the Baptism of infants...encourages parents to reexamine the meaning which faith has in their lives."
National Catechetical Directory
In asking to have your child baptized you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of faith. It will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God's Commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbors. The Baptism Preparation Program offers an excellent opportunity for you, the parents, to renew and/or deepen your faith, strengthen your commitment to the Church, seriously reflect on the responsibilities of Christian parenting, and come to a better understanding of the Sacrament of Baptism.
Registration/Information meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00p.m.
For more information please contact Dori Hanys, Baptism Coordinator/Registrar.
GUIDELINES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF GALVESTON/HOUSTON
1. The Parents and Baptism team need ample time to prepare for the Baptismal celebration, therefore parents seeking Baptism for their child should be encouraged to contact the office of the parish in which they are a member during the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy.
2. Every parish should provide 4 to 6 hours of Baptismal catechesis.
At times, longer periods of preparation may be necessary in order to assure both the in
tegrity of the sacraments and the child's future development as a Christian.
Postponement may be recommended if:
· parents request Baptism for merely social reasons.
· parents show no intention of raising and educating the child as a
Catholic because they have not done so with their other children.
· parents have little knowledge of Catholic belief and practice and
refuse further discussion or instruction.
3. To reflect the communal nature of faith, the ecclesial aspect of Baptism and its relationship to confirmation and the eucharist, Baptism should take place in the parish church and not in a private home. (Canon law 857, 860)
4. For this same reason, Sunday should be the normal day for the celebration of the Sacrament.
5. The godparent, together with the parents, are present to profess the Church's faith, in
which the child is being baptized. Therefore, in order to be appointed sponsor, the person must be suitable for this role and have intention of fulfilling it.
POLICIES OF CHRIST THE GOOD SHEPHERD
1. Completion of the Baptismal Preparation Program (6 hours) for all parents presenting infants for baptism with the following exception:
·Having completed a preparation program within a 5 year period prior to current baptism, attendance is required only at the Baptism Preparation Planning Session
2. At least one parent be a practicing Catholic.
3. Attendance at all sessions by both parents is strongly recommended, whether the spouse is Catholic or not. Godparents are encouraged to attend the Preparation Planning Session so they may feel more comfortable with their role during the celebration.
4. A Godparent Statement letter needs to be signed and returned no later than the Baptism preparation planning session.
5. Couples who are in an irregular marriage (not witnessed by a Catholic priest or deacon) or circumstances are encouraged to seek whatever avenues necessary, to restore them to full communion and membership in the Catholic church, by contacting a priest, deacon or advocate provided by the parish.
6. Infants should be baptized in their community parish, however, for those parents who choose to baptize elsewhere please be assured that all necessary paper work will be provided upon completion of the Baptism preparation program.
7. Baptisms are scheduled monthly, at liturgy (maximum 3 infants) and at 10:00 a.m. Saturday (maximum 8 infants/children). Because of the communal aspect of the sacrament individual baptisms are not celebrated at Christ the Good Shepherd.
8. The $20.00 materials fee should be paid no later than the Preparation Planning Session.
BAPTISM PREPARATION PROGRAM
Registration and parish preparation sessions are required prior to scheduling the baptism. The program consists of three (3) sessions.
The goal of Session I is to encourage the spiritual growth and healthy development of the families who are assuming the responsibilities implied in the Sacrament of Baptism.
Topics to be covered at this session include:
· a brief history of baptism
· discussion of original sin
· parents' and godparents' commitment
· role of church community
· the Sacrament's effect
This session is scheduled immediately prior to the date of Baptism. This is generally a work session which covers the following:
· paperwork for the Baptism Certificate*
*please bring copy of child’s birth certificate
· select readings for the Baptism celebration
· select readers
· giving your child a Saint's name