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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).

Baptismal Symbols

  • 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).


Guidelines for Infant Baptism

Click here for Adult Baptism

Baptismal preparation classes at the Newman Catholic Center, located across the street from Coastal Bend College. Two formation classes are required. They are on the First and Second Thursday of every month from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. Both the parents who wish to have their child baptized, as well as the godparents, are asked to attend a baptismal preparation classes.

Usually, Baptisms are celebrated on the Second Sunday of each month at 12:15 p.m. in the church (after the 11:00am Mass. 

The fee for baptism is $20.00.


Baptismal Registration Packet

Basic Requirements for Parents

  • Parents need to demonstrate the importance of their faith by making a point to attend Mass regularly.
  • Baptisms ordinarily take place at the parish the household (family) belong to.
  • If parents belong to another parish (meaning they live in another parish boundaries or are active registered parishioners at another parish), they will need to obtain a letter of permission from their pastor to baptize their child at St. Joseph’s.
  • If parents attend a class elsewhere, a letter verifying class attendance should be presented prior to the baptism.   Classes are valid for 3 years with certificate of completion.  
  • Parents need to submit an official state Birth Certificate (issued by State, County or City) no hospital certificates are accepted.
  • Only the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) may present children for baptism.  Grandparents and other relatives cannot present children for baptism without expressed written permission from parents who are otherwise not able to do so.

Requirements for Godparents

  • They must be a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church. This means that they should have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. This person should be willing and able to help the child develop and grow in the Catholic faith. They should also be practicing and in good standing.
  • If married, they must be in a valid marriage recognized by the Catholic Church.
  • There must be at least one Godparent/sponsor. In the case where there are two Godparents/sponsors, one must be male and the other female. The maximum number of Godparents/sponsors is two.
  • The minimum age for a fully initiated Catholic to be a sponsor is sixteen (16) years of age.
  • Parents of the child being baptized may not serve as a Godparent/sponsor.
  • Must attend baptismal instruction class prior to the baptism.
  • They must submit an new Baptismal Certificate: The Certificate must not be older that six (6) months and must have notation of all Sacraments.

Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (John 3:5)

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