Parish Policies on Baptism
If you want to arrange a baptism for a child, please contact the parish office before the child's birth to begin the process. If the child has been born, you must prepare for baptism well before we can schedule the child's baptism.
Before being scheduled for a baptism, the first step is to arrange for an interview. Call the parish office to schedule an interview. Following an interview and the completion of all the required paperwork, you will need to attend a baptism seminar.
After attending a baptismal seminar, you will be given a date for your child's baptism.
To schedule an interview, call the parish office at 504 466-5016.
Requirements for sponsors
Sponsors for baptism must be Catholics, age 16 or older, who have been confirmed and are in good standing with their registerred parish. If the sponsor is married, the marriage must be in the Catholic Church.
Who can be baptized?
Anyone, of any age, who has not already received Baptism under the formula “___, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” may be baptized in the Catholic Church. Depending on the age of the person, preparation for the sacrament will vary (see below).
What is baptism?
Baptism is a sacramental action, instituted by Christ to forgive all sins. It is not merely a symbolic action. Because it is a sacrament, it has the power of Christ. Its essential form involves water and the words “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Hoy Spirit.” The water can be poured on the head of the recipient, or they may be immersed in water.
Jesus himself spoke of the necessity of Baptism to Nicodemus (John 3: 5). He also commanded his disciples to baptize all the nations (Mt. 28: 20).
In short, Baptism is the normal way that Jesus Christ intended for future generations to be cleansed of original sin and (in baptisms of older children and adults) any actual sins committed prior to baptism.
Who can baptize?
Priests and deacons are the ordinary ministers of the sacrament of baptism. At Divine Mercy, baptisms are performed by Fr. David, Fr. Jeffrey, Deacon Martinsen, and Deacon Capaci
What are the effects of Baptism?
First and foremost, Baptism forgives all sins as well as the punishment due for any sins.
Baptism also makes us a new creation. Whereas before baptism, we are human beings with human parents only, after baptism we become adopted as children of God. This is why the Our Father is one of the last prayers in the rite of baptism. Baptism not only cleanses us of sin, but it makes us a part of God’s eternal family! We become partakers of the very nature of God!
Finally, baptism makes us a part of the Church, or what St. Paul calls the Body of Christ. It unites us to other Christians and initiates us into the mystery of faith.
The Rite of Baptism is an initiation into the Catholic faith and the Catholic Church. In the case of infant baptism, this requires a commitment on the part of parents. Please call the parish office to make arrangements during the pregnancy if you wish to have your child baptized.
For infant baptisms, parents and sponsors (godparents) play a particularly important role. As the child is not yet able to make decisions, it becomes the role of the parents and sponsors to form the child in the faith.
During the interview process and even in the ritual of baptism itself, this role will be stressed. It is important both for the child and for the parents and sponsors that they take seriously the role the Church calls them to play in the life of the newly baptized.
For adult baptisms, see here.
- Why does the Church baptize infants? Shouldn't we wait until they are grown up?
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church on Baptism