Baptism is one of the three sacraments of initiation, during which the priest or deacon pours water over the recipient conferring sanctifying grace over sin. At St. Francis Xavier, our parish community rejoices in welcoming a newly baptized member of our family into our Christian community.
Baptisms are celebrated at 1:30 p.m. on generally every other Sunday. At St. Francis Xavier, families celebrate infant baptisms in small groups of four or five, but an older child may be baptized privately if the family wishes.
Call the parish office at 330-725-4968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register for a class. Congratulations!
Baptism classes are offered for parents to help them gain an understanding of the sacrament and explain its theology, signs and symbols, and to walk through the rite. Parents are required to attend this class before their child is baptized. Classes are held at 1:30 p.m. in the Xavier Room on the first Sundays of February, April, June, August, October and December.
Parents also may take a baptism class at Holy Martyrs Church in Medina Township. These classes are offered the second Thursdays of January, April, July and October at 7:30 p.m. in Pfeiffer Hall B. Please call Holy Martyrs at 330-722-6633 to register.
According to the revised Roman Missal, the rite begins with the child dressed in his or her baptismal garment. (In the past, the child was dressed in white following baptism, as part of the rite.) A white baptismal gown or clothing is not required.
Choosing a Godparent
Godparents expand on the spiritual family of the one to being baptized and, by their example and prayer, teach him or her how to understand and live their faith. Godparents assume a lifelong responsibility to show the candidate how to live and practice the Gospel.
Persons wishing to be a godparent must obtain a sponsor certificate from the parish where they are registered members.
According to canon law, a godparent must:
- be someone other than the parent of the one to be baptized or confirmed.
- have received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. We will need copies of the original sacramental forms, unless you are a parishioner of St. Francis Xavier.
- be at least 16 years of age.
- be leading a life in harmony with the Catholic faith and the role to be undertaken; therefore, if married, the marriage must be recognized as valid by the Catholic Church. Again, we will need a copy of the Sacrament of Marriage certificate. (Couples that were married in a different church or in a non-religious ceremony can have their marriage “convalidated” and recognized as a sacrament in the Catholic Church. Both partners do not both have to be Catholic for a marriage to be convalidated. Please speak with a priest for more information.)
- be a practicing Catholic, registered in a parish, who regularly attends Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and receives the Holy Eucharist.
The person requesting the sponsor certificate must do so at least one month before the sacrament and must be present to sign the document.
Parents may choose another baptized person, who belongs to a non-Catholic church, to serve as a Christian witness together with one Catholic godparent. No more than two names may be entered in the official record of baptism as godparents, or as godparent and Christian witness.
Children ages 7 or older
Children who have reached the age of seven, up to age 18, have a capacity for personal faith and participate in the preparation for their baptism. Any unbaptized young person of seven years or more approaches the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults adapted for children (RCIC).
How long does it take?
The sacraments of initiation are usually celebrated at the Easter Vigil. The preparation lasts about one year and can begin at any time. The formal process lasts from August until the following Easter.
How are parents involved?
The parish community cannot prepare children for initiation without the active support and involvement of parents and families. Parents are asked to bring their children to church each Sunday and ensure that they participate in catechetical sessions each week. Parents need to make faith and prayer a part of family life at home, and to work with catechists to find sponsors and godparents for their children.
Often, parents of children in the RCIC have particular spiritual and catechetical needs of their own. Some may also be preparing for initiation into the Church through the RCIA, or may be returning Catholics whose own faith has been reawakened.
Please contact RCIA Director Jenny Bonarrigo at 300-239-1592 for more information.
Adults who have not been baptized are invited to go through a different process built around their unique life experiences. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults welcomes adults to learn more about the Catholic faith. Through a series of classes, adults are invited to become lifelong disciples of Jesus Christ. Entering the RCIA process is not a commitment to join the Catholic Church, although it is the process through which adults can be initiated into the faith or, if they have been baptized, received into full communion.