The Catholic Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism is the one sacrament that all Christian denominations share in common. In the Catholic Church, infants are baptized to welcome them into the Catholic faith and to free them from the original sin they were born with. Baptism is the first holy sacrament followed by: Eucharist, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the sick, Marriage and Holy Order.
Remember to the Catholic Church, original sin isn’t a personal sin of the unborn, but a sin transmitted from generation to generation by birth. All men and women are born with original sin, and only Baptism can wash it away. Baptism can be regarded as a vaccine against sin.
The parish priest administers the sacrament, anointing the person being baptized with oils, and pouring blessed water over the child or adult’s head not just once but three times.
In the eyes of the Catholic Church, any Baptism that uses water and the invocation of the Holy Trinity, as in “I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” is a valid sacrament. So if a follower of a Christian church that performs Baptism to these standards wants to become Catholic, he doesn’t have to be re-baptized.
A person being baptized in the Catholic Church is expected to dress in white to symbolize purity of faith and the cleansing power of Baptism. The white garment symbolizes the white garments Jesus wore when he was placed in the tomb after his death on Good Friday. An infant may wear a baptismal gown handed down for generations; an adult typically puts on a full-length white gown known as an alb.
Baptisms here at St. Catherine of Genoa Roman Catholic Church takes place on the third Sunday of the month, during the 11:00 AM parish Mass. Please call the rectory 718-282-7162 to have your child baptized.