Parish 262-673-4831 School 262-673-3081

Enlightened by Faith, Enriched by Education

Baptism

Thank You for Welcoming Christ into Your Child!
May God bless you in your role of raising and caring for your child. Your child will learn many things from you and others throughout their lives, but none as important as living a Christian life as a member of a community of worship, commitment and service.

 

Baptism - Catholic Central (Video)

 

Baptism - Sophia SketchPad (Video)

 

Sacraments 101: Baptism (why we baptize)

 

USCCB "handout" Baptism - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

USCCB Baptism Information - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

Baptism

Through Baptism your child will become a disciple, part of the body of Christ and you will affirm that you will raise your child in the practice of the faith. Our parish community rejoices with you as we prepare to welcome a new member who will grow in faith, serve others and join us in the praise of God. The information on this page will assist you in understanding and preparing for the celebration of the sacrament of Baptism. The guidelines contained within are part of the Church laws contained in Canon Law. This law governs all Catholics of the Latin Rite.

Infant Baptism may take place during any weekend Mass. Although Baptism may be celebrated on any day, the Church's liturgy recommends that it be celebrated on a Sunday. The Baptism can take place within the celebration of Sunday Liturgy, or at the discretion of the Pastor, at a time outside of Mass.

Baptism Preparation
Currently we are not conducting formal baptism classes. Rather, we ask that you please complete our Baptism Information Form to schedule a baptism at least one month prior to the date you are requesting for baptism.

The Age of your Child 
The Catholic Church celebrates Baptism in two different ways. One, the Rite of Baptism for Children, is for newborn infants and for children who have not yet reached the age of discernment, or catechetical age (around age seven). Newborn infants are generally baptized within the first few months after birth. If your child is of catechetical age (around age seven), he or she should celebrate Baptism as part of the other form of Catholic Baptism, Christian Initiation of Children. This process provides a period of age-appropriate religious education giving the child a basic understanding of the Catholic faith, including the Eucharist. Children participating in this program celebrate the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion in one celebration at the Easter Vigil. Contact the Parish Office for more information.

Baptismal Name 
The ceremony may begin with a simple question, "What name do you give (or have you given) your child?" Our name becomes the main symbol of who we are. The Catholic Church has a tradition of naming children after saints or virtues. Today, the law is different. The church simply asks that any name not be foreign to a Christian mentality. Please remember that the name you give your child can impact their future. The church asks that you please exercise good judgment, as trendy names become passe quickly and children must live with the name you give them for all of their lives and into eternity.

Adoption
In the case of children who are in the process of being adopted, the Baptism may be celebrated with the consent of the natural parents; otherwise, the Baptism is to be postponed until after the adoption has been finalized, except in danger of death. Foster parents do not have the authority to present a foster child for Baptism.

Godparents
One of the most important decisions regarding baptism is the choice of godparents for your child. You are required to have one godparent although normally, there are two godparents (in which case, one is to be male and one to be female). Careful consideration should be given to choosing godparents as they must meet certain qualifications as set forth by laws of the Catholic Church.

A person to be admitted as a godparent must:

  1. be designated by you and must have the intention of performing this role
  2. be at least sixteen years of age (unless the pastor sees just cause for an exception)
  3. be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has already shared Holy Communion
  4. be a Catholic who leads a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken
  5. not be bound by any legitimately imposed canonical penalty
  6. not be the father or mother of the child.

Please save embarrassment for all paties by NOT choosing a godparent who does not fulfill the above requirements. In view of these guidelines, the pastor of the designated godparent is responsible for determining these qualifications. A baptized person who belongs to some other non-Catholic community may be asked to serve not as a godparent but as a Christian witness as long as a Catholic godparent is also present. Catholics who have abandoned the faith may not act as a Christian witness or a godparent. The church does make accommodations for a godparent who, for good cause, is not able to be present at the ceremony. A proxy may be chosen to stand-in for the godparent at the ceremony.

The Ceremony 
The ceremony of Baptism abounds in symbols. Baptism expresses so many things about life, church, family and God that it needs a full range of images, gathering many rituals into one and bringing your child to the waters of new birth. The Rite of Baptism has several parts and a few options, so the ceremony may vary slightly depending upon the celebrant. The service includes tracing the Sign of the Cross on the forehead of the child, by which the community welcomes them and claims them for Christ. The pouring of water on the head of the child is central in the Rite of Baptism. Baptizing in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit brings new birth. It cleanses from sin and gives a share in the death and resurrection of Christ. The child is also anointed with sacred oil blessed by the Archbishop on the Holy Week Chrism Mass. In the Old Testament, solemn anointings were given to priests, prophets and kings. Jesus, in whom the Holy Spirit dwelled, was anointed with that Spirit for the same purposes - to be our priest, prophet and king. Now we anoint the newly baptized to share in that same service, to be a priest by living a life of prayer, to be a prophet by announcing the word of God, to be royalty by accepting the role of leader. A white garment is placed on the newly baptized child and you will be presented with a candle, lit from the Easter candle. Both are signs that this child now shares in the risen life of Christ. The Baptismal ceremony also gives us opportunity for prayer, word and renewal. Readings from scripture and a short homily offer insight into the sacrament of Baptism and our roles in the life of those to be baptized if the Baptism occurrs outside of Mass. We are also given the opportunity to renew our own baptismal vows where we renounce sin and profess our faith in God. The ceremony concludes with the reciting of the Lord's Prayer and blessings for the parents, godparents and everyone present, again, if performed outside of Mass.

Photography
Please feel free to take any pictures or videos during the actual Baptism ceremony. You may also remain after the Baptism to take additional pictures in the Church.

Baptismal Record
After Baptism, your child's information will be recorded in the Parish Baptism Register. Your child's permanent record will always be kept at Saint Kilian Parish. Before your child's entry to Catholic school, confirmation, marriage, religious profession or ordination in years to come, you will be asked for an updated copy of the Baptismal Certificate. It will always be issued from Saint Kilian Parish. Following baptism at Saint Kilian Parish, all sacramental information regarding your child, regardless of where the following sacraments take place, will always be recorded Saint Kilian Parish as well.

Donations for the Church
There are never any fees or costs associated with the celebration and the reception of the sacraments. However, parishes always need contributions for upkeep, utilities, insurance, etc. All parishes depend primarily on your regular Sunday offering. A tradition within the Church has been to make a donation at the time of Baptism in the name of the new member. This usually is given by the parents or godparents. If you can make a special gift to the parish at the time of your child's Baptism, it will be gratefully received.

Church Attendance 
Some parents hesitate to request a Baptism because they do not regularly attend Mass or support the local parish. If this is you, you may want to evaluate the reasons you are seeking Baptism for your child. Is it for tradition? Is it an expectation within your family? Is it a social obligation? Or is it a desire to share the life of Christ? Saint Kilian Parish openly welcomes all to become part of our parish family and to share in that life of Christ. If you are not registered in the parish you may wish to meet with a member of the parish staff or the pastor. This will give both an opportunity to assess needs and discuss our faith and the unique responsibility to share it with the child God has entrusted to you.

 

Baptism is our birth into the church as a whole, and we enter these baptismal waters again when we physically enter the worship space. When I begin to enter the chapel and put my fingers in the holy water stoop, then make the sign of the cross, I have this experience of going through the veil. It's an experience of entering into the baptismal waters of death and birth; saying that the preoccupations, worries, thoughts, and feelings that might be a distraction are dying in this entrance into God's time, into the time of prayer and worship, and in this entrance into the Christian community. 

-Br. Lucas Hall, SSJE

 

A lot of people try to make God domestic. God becomes the "Hail Mary, full of grace, help me find a parking space" God. But this means missing the absolutely unfathomable power of God, like you can see at Niagara Falls. That's what water can teach us about God: you can't bottle God.

-Br. James Koester, SSJE

 

When we bless water for baptism, we tell the story of how water has become to us a sign of life. We remember that in the beginning, the Holy Spirit moved over the waters. We remember that through water God led the children of Israel out of bondage into freedom. We remember that through water Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan, and in our own baptism, we move from the bondage of sin and death into the freedom of resurrection and everlasting life. 

- The Rev. Becky Zartman

 

The risen life of Jesus Christ is so available to us afresh in every moment of our life – just there – as this endlessly unfolding potential. But living it out, claiming it, actually weaving it into the fabric of our life, requires us to go down into the waters of our baptism over and over and over again.

-Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

 

In the 1959 Canadian Prayer Book, the Catechism starts, "What is your name? Who gave you this name?" And the answer is, "My godparents, when I was baptized, wherein I was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven." And, that is a Christian's identity. If that's the only thing somebody remembers, they've got their Christian life.

-Br. James Koester, SSJE

 

In living out our Christian journey, we all know from experience that this is not one moment of progress and glory, followed by another moment of progress and glory, into the triumph of Christ's risen life. We know from our hard experience that grace is costly, and there are many moments that call us to die. Baptism is not a once and for all transaction. It is a lifelong covenant that is expressed afresh in so many moments in life, that seemingly have nothing to do with God or church on the surface. 

-Br. Keith Nelson, SSJE

 

The baptismal mystery is that we are continuously dying to the old self and rising to the new creation. That incorporation by water and the Spirit has everything to do with the air we breathe and the water that sustains us. 

- Br. Jonathan Maury, SSJE