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. 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 rectory 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, which is part of our diocesan cluster. 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.
By Canon law, only one male or one female sponsor or one of each sex can act as godparent.
Godparent candidates must:
- be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the one who takes their place, or, in their absence, by the pastor or minister, and is to have the qualifications and intention of performing this role;
- have completed their 16th year;
- be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already received the sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist and leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken;
- not be bound by any canonical penalty;
- not be the father or the mother of the one to be baptized.
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 eighteen, 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.