Baptising Your Baby
BAPTISM - THE SACRAMENT OF BELONGING
At the heart of our life in the parish, and indeed in the Church, is the sacrament of baptism. It is through this gift from God that we are united with each other and with our Lord. This is how we become members of the body of Christ.
We are delighted that you wish to have your child baptised at St Joseph's Parish, Papanui. In arranging this, parents accept the responsibility of training their children in the practice of the faith, as well as undertaking to bring them up to keep God's commandments, as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour.
We have a process for how we baptise children at St Joseph's Parish. All parents and godparents are asked to attend a baptism class in preparation for the sacrament. The baptism ceremony normally takes place after the 10.00am Mass on the last Sunday of the month. As baptism is a celebration of your child's entry into membership of the Catholic Church, it is good to celebrate this sacrament together with other families of the parish who themselves have children to be baptised.
Steps to take:
1. Make contact with Father John after Mass on Sunday. He will direct you to the blue baptism information leaflet in the church porch. A copy of this leaflet can be downloaded here.
2. He will arrange to include you in the next baptism preparation class. These classes are held on the third Thursday of each month in the St Joseph's Parish Centre at 7.30pm.
3. The sacrament of baptism is usually celebrated on the last Sunday of each month after the 10.00am Mass at St Gregory's Church. Parents can choose which Sunday they wish to celebrate this sacrament.
Our celebration of baptism is communal, because this is the very nature of the sacrament. We are welcoming these little ones into the life of God's family, the Church, and our identity as the Church is most clear when we gather around the table of the Lord for the Sunday Mass. Our children are a blessing to us. The joy of parents at the baptism of their children is shared by the whole parish family.
* If you live outside our parish boundary and do not worship at St Joseph's Parish, you should have your child baptised in the parish where you live. Contact should be made with your local parish priest.
* If you were once a parishioner here and are coming back to St Joseph's Parish (e.g. for Christmas or holidays) and wish to have your child baptised, you should obtain a letter of permission from your parish for the baptism to be celebrated here. This should be forwarded to us in good time before you arrive.
BECOMING A CATHOLIC
For adults wishing to be baptised, the parish, from time to time, runs the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) programme. This course of instruction consists of a series of weekly meetings usually over a nine month period. The adult enquirer should be regularly attending Sunday Mass for at least twelve months prior to beginning this course.
The programme is designed to provide understanding and insight into the faith and practice of the Church. Adult baptisms are usually performed at the Easter Vigil.