Baptism is a sacrament which effectively signifies and ritualizes one’s initiation into the community called Church and manifests God’s love (grace) for his people. Through God’s unconditional love, the effect of original sin is reconciled and the newly baptized Christian is guided and strengthened in his/her promise of fidelity to Jesus Christ. The symbolic use of oil is an essential sign of the sealing and strengthening of this promise. The use of water is an essential symbol of the purification and new life in Christ which is effected at Baptism.
A Joyous Celebration in our Community
The baptism of a Christian into the faith is an occasion for celebration for the entire Church, and especially for the Parish community that welcomes a new member. Therefore, it is as much an occasion of grace and a sign for the community as it is for the person being baptized. The ceremony witnesses to the building up of the Body of Christ (the Church). It is a living and visible sign of God’s love for the community. Through the presence and pledge of the sponsor, the whole community called Church agrees to support the newly baptized and to share in the responsibility of his/her formation in the faith. Baptism is also an occasion for serious reflection upon one’s own commitment and responsibility to the church community.
A fuller awareness of the universality of God’s love can expand our understanding and appreciation of this sacrament. It can move our notion of Baptism from a posture of God saying YES to a relationship with a person to the posture of a person saying YES to a relationship with God. God already loves each person unconditionally and invites each into a relationship with HIM. In Baptism Christians say YES to this invitation to encounter God through the Church. At Baptism, the whole Church says YES to a stronger and fuller relationship with Jesus Christ because of the graced presence of the newly baptized in their community
Norms for Infant Baptism
Baptisms for infants up to 7 years of age, generally take place in a communal celebration on certain Sundays of the month at 11:45 am. We do not schedule baptisms during Lent.
Since Parents and Godparents will be making promises at the child’s baptism to faithfully raise the child in the ways of the Catholic faith, it is important that you have a strong faith. We ask that Parents, and Godparents, attend Reborn, our Baptismal Preparation Course, prior to scheduling a Baptism. Reborn is three lessons done on the first three Sunday mornings of the month.
Parents should contact the parish (and if possible, attend the classes) before the birth of the child which helps us ensure that we help you prepare as fully as possible.
If you are not registered at St. Matthew and are not currently registered in any Catholic parish, we invite you to take that step and become registered members of our faith community, we would very much look forward to welcoming you and your child as members of our parish.
Requirements of Godparents
Being a Godparent is more than Greeting Cards and presents. It is a very important office of the Church and requires much responsibilities. Godparents are expected to attend Reborn with the parents.
You may have one or two Godparents for your child. If you have one they can be male or female; if you have two one has to be male, one has to be female.
Godparents must be practicing Catholics in good standing that have been fully initiated into the Church(received Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmed). If a Godparent is married they must have been married in the Catholic Church or had their marriage convalidated.
Norms for Adult Baptism
Adults wishing to be baptized will need to participate in our Becoming Catholic program and participate in the Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults. Children, seven years of age and older will need to attend Faith Formation classes in preparation for baptism.
Whether you have an infant, an older child, or if you are an adult requiring baptism, please contact the Parish Office and we will be happy to help you get the process started or you can set up an appointment with Richard Monteverde
or call: 863.324.3040
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm