In the gospels, we can read about how John the Baptist called for a baptism for the repentance of signs and for the people to prepare the way of the Lord. Jesus himself was baptized by John in the Jordan River. Jesus did not need to be baptized but chose to be baptized to set an example for us. We do need to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins and to accept our calling to be part of God’s family. If you are an adult who has never been baptized or baptized in another Christian denomination and wish to become Catholic, then RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) is the place to begin.
For children under the age of seven, you begin by simply calling our parish office at 607-273-6121 and speaking with Father Chumo. If this is your first child, we do require you to attend a “Baptismal Preparation Session” to talk about what Baptism is and what it means to be baptized. This is generally done in one or two meetings. We will talk about
- Why do we baptize at all?
- Why do we baptize children?
- What is the role of godparents?
- How you might live as a Christian and teach your child by example.
For children over the age of seven, we will need to meet with you to determine the particular circumstances. Generally, the child will be entered into RCIC, which stands for “Rite of Christian Initiation for Children.” It follows the rituals of the RCIA designed for adults but it is age-based. Your child will learn the basics of our Catholic faith appropriate for his or her age group. After completing the RCIC, he or she will enter the regular religion classes for his or her age group. If your child has already been attending a Catholic school that will count as most of their religious education. As I say, for children the RCIC is evaluated on a case by case basis.
Generally, all baptisms are performed during Sunday Mass, as the sacraments are a community celebration. The child becomes a member of the community in baptism and, so, it is strongly desirable to celebrate baptisms in the presence of the community. If there is a need for you to have your child baptized outside of Mass, please bring it to our intention when you call us.
To help you understand the Rite of Baptism, this flowchart is provided that outlines the Rite.
Select the image or use this link to open the Baptism Flowchart. The flowchart will open in a new tab.
For Further Reading:
Select the image or use this link to open Parent Guide for Baptism. The brochure will open in a new tab.