The Sacrament of Baptism
In his dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus says: “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. “(John 3:5) Baptism through the Holy Spirit and water, makes it possible for a person to be born again, making him or her son or daughter of God, publicly entering the community of the Church with responsibilities in the mission of spreading the Gospel. Repentance and conversion comes from Christ’s death and resurrection. He invites us, not only to know his teachings but, through prayer and the sacraments, participate actively in the life of the Christian community. Only after having received Baptism can we receive the other sacraments because “Baptism, the gateway to the sacraments, is necessary for salvation”.
- Infant Baptism:
In ordinary circumstances, "parents are obliged to see that their infants are baptized within the first few weeks". Even if only one of the parents of the child is catholic, the infant should receive the Baptism as soon as possible.
1. Parents rather than other relatives should apply for their infant's baptism, thus showing their awareness that responsibility for the baptism of their children rests primarily on them.
2. Parents should ask from their own proper parish (place of residency) the forms to be filled in. (Infant baptism should normally be administered after the parents have obtained their child's birth certificate. This is to avoid possible discrepancies in spelling of names, dates, etc.)
3. When filling in the baptism forms they should show a copy of the birth certificate of the child or copy of the ID, as well as copy of the baptism and marriage of the parents.
4. When selecting god-parents, parents should take into consideration the person's spiritual maturity; they should choose one god-father or god-mother and present their baptismal and confirmation certificates.
5. Parents and god-parents, whenever possible, should attend the instruction course arranged for them by the parish in order to fully understand the meaning of infant baptism and their responsibility.
- Adult Baptism:
Before an adult receives the sacrament of Baptism he or she has to participate in the catechumenate classes and begin the practice of a life of faith. This period should always be over one year and half.