Baptism

"Through baptism into Christ's death, we were buried with him....If we have been united with him through likeness to his death, so shall we be through a like resurrection." Romans 6:3-5 

Our parish family is happy to welcome new members of the Church in the sacrament of Baptism. In our community they will also find support, education and further spiritual formation, as their Christian lives grow in the coming years. 

Please call the Rectory at 954-431-3600 before the anticipated birth to make arrangements. Parent Classes and baptisms are held once a month. For older children and adults, see RCIA and contact Mrs. Mercedes Brown at the rectory.

Preparation for Baptism
Parents should contact the parish to arrange the baptism of their children. Someone on our Religious Education Staff will take down information about the child, parents, godparents, etc. That staff member will also help schedule the pre-baptismal class for parents and godparents and the date of the baptism itself. (Detailed information about Baptism preparation)


The Parents
The final blessing at baptism prays for the parents of the newly baptized, "the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith," that "they be also the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do." Parents present their children for baptism because they wish to share with them their own faith in Christ. They will have the primary responsibility of raising them in the practice of the faith.  Parents seeking baptism for their children should be registered members of the parish and regular participants at Sunday Mass. Families can register by picking up registration forms at the rectory and, if new to the parish, then bring the forms to the welcome meeting – a meeting to welcome and orientate new members of the parish. 

The Godparents
As the word suggests, "god-parents" assist the parents in "parenting" children in the life of faith. They are added to the immediate family to help parents bring up their children to profess the faith and to show this by living it. Godparents should be practicing Catholics, baptized and confirmed, at least 16 years of age. One person of each sex may serve as godparent; parents may not. Catholics chosen as godparents should obtain a "sponsor certificate" from their parish.  A baptized and believing Christian from a non-Catholic church may also act as godparent, along with a Catholic godparent. The non-Catholic party should obtain a letter testifying to his or her membership in another Christian Church. 

The architecture celebrates faith. 

Baptism establishes the Church as the community of those saved by Jesus' death and resurrection.  Baptism initiates us into the Christ and His Church; in baptism, we are buried with Christ and we rise with Him.  The baptistery at St. Bartholomew Church occupies a prominent place in the building.  Even when baptism is not happening, the fountain and pools remind the community that they are who they are because all have passed through the same baptismal waters.  The tomb or mausoleum-like exterior of the baptistry recalls that burial and rising with Jesus happens here. The three pools connected by running (living) water allude to the Oneness of the Three in whose Name we baptize. The three steps down into and up out of the large pool remind us of the three days Christ spent buried.  The size of the pools make baptism not just a token splashing but a symbolic burial with Christ.  The large pools allow full immersion for adults - the preferred form of baptism in the Catholic Church.  We use the upper pool for the baptism of infants. 

Catholic Teaching on Baptism
 Go, therefore, 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 "One Lord, One faith, One baptism" Ephesians 4:4   "....We believe in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins..." (Creed) Christ himself proclaimed the suitability of infants for initiation into the kingdom (Luke18:15-16), and Peter declared: "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. For the promise is to you and to your children" (Acts2:38-39). The apostolic Church practiced the baptism of whole households, with no exceptions mentioned for small children (Acts16:6,33,  1 Cor. 1:16).  
 
 From the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Baptism of infants
1250
 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.
 1251 Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.
 1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole "households" received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.