And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 3:21)
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
On behalf of both St. John Francis Regis and St. Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Churches, congratulations! We know this is an exciting time for you as you welcome a new member of your family. We rejoice with you and invite you to make your child also a member of Christ’s Body by bringing them into the Church through the Sacrament of Baptism.
Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation whereby a person becomes a member of the Church. These three sacraments taken together "lay the foundations of every Christian life" (CCC 1212) and Baptism as the first of these initial sacraments is "the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments" (CCC 1213). In his encounter with Nicodemus, Jesus said that "no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit" (John 3:5) signifying the sacrament of Baptism which he would institute. It was in his own baptism by St. John the Baptist that Jesus purified the waters of the earth preparing them to be a vessel of God's grace. It was in his suffering, death, and resurrection that Jesus opened the fountain of Baptism to all people. Baptism was fully instituted as a sacrament when Jesus commissioned his apostles to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).
THE EFFECTS OF BAPTISM
The first effect of the Sacrament of Baptism is the washing away of original sin and the forgiveness of all personal sins if the person being baptized is old enough to have committed any personal sins. Just as we use water to wash our bodies from dirt, the waters of baptism wash our souls from spiritual dirt or sin.
The second effect of Baptism is being made a new creature by being reborn through water and the Holy Spirit. In baptism, the Holy Spirit descends upon the person and takes up residence in his soul. Thus, Baptism makes us the dwelling place of the Most Blessed Trinity and a holy temple of God. Due to original sin, we are deprived of the divine life of the Holy Spirit. But when this original stain is washed away, we are born anew and made adopted children of God.
The third effect of Baptism is being made members of the Church, the Body of Christ, and the family of God, and unites us to all the baptized throughout the world.
Finally, Baptism leaves an indelible (permanent) mark on our soul which identifies us as being configured to Christ and sealed with the sign of faith. This mark can never be removed.
For parents and godparents who need to attend baptism class, please remember to call the Church office at (337) 754-5912 and register. There is no cost for class. Classes are the second Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. at St. John Francis Regis office.