"The one who believes and is baptized will be saved."
The birth of a child is one of the greatest miracles! Your child is a gift from God and a sign of His infinite love for you. God has entrusted this child to you to love, nurture, teach, guide and protect. This is your divine mission in life, your vocation. Your child is certainly blessed to have you as parents!
We know that you want only the best for your child, to share those things and values which matter most to you. That is why you have asked to have your child baptized Catholic. The Lord taught us that baptism is necessary for salvation (Jn 3:5; Mk 16:16). Through baptism your child will be reborn as a child of God through water and the Holy Spirit, immersed in His love, enlightened with grace, set free from sin and death, and welcomed into God's family, the Church. Baptism is one of the most important events in your child's life. Thank you for choosing to share our faith with your child!
Of course, baptism is not magic. The primary way your child will come to know God's unconditional love is through you – your words and your actions – by the way you live your faith. Studies confirm that your first image of God is often that of our parents and your faith life will have tremendous affect upon your child. Know that we will do everything we can as a community of faith to support you in your vocation as parent. Another important resource to help you to share your faith with your child is your child's godparents.
The role of godparents is not simply honorary so choose them well! The godparents assist you in sharing the Catholic faith with your child by guiding and teaching the child throughout life. Perhaps the most effective way to teach is through example. Naturally one cannot share what one does not have. Therefore, the godparent must be an active Catholic over 16 years of age who has received Confirmation and regularly participates in Sunday Mass. The godparent's life must be in harmony with the faith and role to be undertaken. Logically, those who are living with another outside of marriage, married outside the Church, or fail to live life in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church cannot serve as godparents. You may choose one or two godparents (male and female). If you'd like, a baptized Protestant can serve as witness along with a godparent. Your godparents should contact their parish to secure a letter stating that they are eligible to serve as godparents.
You are invited to attend a baptism seminar in the future. This will help you to prepare for the ceremony and will share some insights regarding your child's faith development. At St. Paul, baptism usually occur on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m.
Yes, baptism is the most important day of your child's life since it is the doorway to eternal life. We are honored that you have chosen to share this moment with us. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. Be assured that you and your entire family remain in our prayers!
Growing together in Christ,
Father Bill Swengros
Our Baptisms are celebrated on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Please contact Lizette Espel in the Parish Office to set up an interview and answer any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your child's baptism.
For your convenience, please CLICK HERE to download a Baptism Form.
Contact Lizette Espel at 813-961-3023 or email at LEspel@StPaulChurch.com Infants & Children ages 0 - 6
The sacrament of baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life.
At baptism, the presider prays over the water:
Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the Holy Spirit. (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)
Freed from Sin
Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”
The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ" (CCC 1279).
- Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
- Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
- Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
- White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.
While in ordinary circumstances, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy, in an emergency situation, the sacrament of baptism can be administered by anyone.
In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (CCC 1284).