The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes it clear just how important the Sacrament of Baptism is to our faith — “Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments” (1213). When we choose to have a child baptized, we are committing them to God.
Kande Batz, Hispanic Ministry and RE Coordinator, oversees Baptisms here at Our Lady of Hope. She, along with our priests, makes sure that all the parents and godparents of the baptized know the role they are taking on. There is a one-hour class held once per month on Sundays in both English and Spanish to prepare parents and godparents for the sacrament.
Baptism is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation. Typically, children will then go on to receive First Holy Communion and Confirmation.
“The ritual of Baptism symbolizes the washing away of sins and cleansing the soul by immersing it into water,” Kande says. “Baptism is an important sacrament, and being baptized is an important part of being initiated into the family of the Catholic Church.”
As Kande notes, it’s important for children to be baptized because, through the sacrament, they become a son or daughter of God and a member of the Catholic family.
“Baptism enriches us with many graces and blessings,” Kande says. “Baptism brings the child to share in the royal priesthood of Christ. It leaves a spiritual mark or character of belonging to Christ on the soul of the baptized.”
And who wouldn’t want that for their child? To best prepare for this important sacrament, the one-hour class will cover supporting the child’s spiritual life. The teacher will cover what it means to be a member of the Catholic Church and the importance of prayer. A Christian life isn’t just lived on the day of Baptism, but every day.
In addition, Kande emphasizes that it’s important to choose godparents who will support the child in their faith journey, as well as be able to provide an example by living a Christian life.
After Baptism, there are other important things to continue at home with the child — praying at home, bringing them to Mass, participating in church activities and simply being a good person.
To start the process of having a child baptized, contact office staff at 812-254-2883 to request a date for Baptism. The sacrament and preparations are available in English and Spanish.