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).
St. Paul Catholic Church
newborns ~ 4 years
Completion of a Baptism class is required for all parents who wish to have their child baptised into the Catholic Faith, and must be completed prior to scheduling the baptism service.
Baptism class is the
first Wednesday each month
St. Paul's Rectory
221 Valley Street
Please call 415.648.7538
to sign up for the Baptism class which is best suited to your schedule
2017 Baptism class dates:
Baptism Services are by appointment only, on
Sunday's at 1:00 pm
Once both parents have completed the Baptism class, you may then call to schedule your child's Baptism. All Baptisms are scheduled with the final approval of
Fr. Mario Farana, Pastor
Children 5 years and older must attend our Religious Education Program prior to Baptism.
The Sacrament of Baptism
The Catholic Church teaches that baptism is a sacrament which accomplishes several things, the first of which is the remission of sin, both original sin and actual sin—only original sin in the case of infants and young children, since they are incapable of actual sin; and both original and actual sin in the case of older persons.
Peter explained what happens at baptism when he said, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
But he did not restrict this teaching to adults. He added, "For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him" (Acts 2:39).
We also read: "Rise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on his name"
These commands are universal, not restricted to adults. Further, these commands make clear the necessary connection between baptism and salvation,
a connection explicitly stated in
1 Peter 3:21:
"Baptism . . . now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ."