Baptism is the first sacrament received by all Catholic Christians. It is one of the three sacraments of Christian initiation (the other two are Confirmation and Eucharist). Through this sacrament, those baptized become members of the body of Christ and the new people of God, the worldwide Christian community. Baptism may be received only once. It can be administered by infusion (water poured over one's head) or by immersion (one's entire body plunged into water).
Through the water, prayers, and rituals of Christian baptism, persons participate in the dying and rising to new life of Jesus of Nazareth. Up to the middle of the 5th century most baptism candidates were adults. After long and prayerful preparations -- "catechumenate" periods which sometimes lasted years -- candidates were immersed in water, confirmed by the local bishop, and then received Eucharist -- all in one ceremony (usually celebrated at the annual Eater Vigil). From the end of the 5th centery until now, the church community has stressed the need for infant baptism, and, for various reasons, has often delayed confirmation until preteen or teenage years.
To have a child baptized at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, contact the parish office at 524-2412. Parents of children to be baptized are asked to participate in baptismal preparation before the celebration of the sacrament of Baptism for their first child. (The preparation class need not be repeated for subsequent children.) The class may be taken prior to your baby's birth. Baptisms can be celebrated either during a Mass or privately after a Mass. Please call the parish office to schedule a baptismal date and preparation date.
Adult baptisms are celebrated at the Easter Vigil after completion of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). For more information on the RCIA program, contact Alison McShane at the Parish Office (524-2412).