Philosophy on Baptism
The importance and significance of baptism in the life of the Christian is the visible sign of our willingness to be disciples of Jesus Christ. It’s not just an occasion for baby gifts or a family tradition.
In many Christian denominations, baptism is deferred until the child or adult is prepared to make their own decision to follow Christ. In the Catholic tradition, as with the Orthodox and many other Christian groups, baptism may be conferred on an infant if there is a reasonable expectation that at least one of the parents will make every effort to raise their child as a Catholic Christian.
Often, couples will come to have their baby baptized here at St. Anthony, even though they no longer live in the area. We are happy to oblige, if the parents receive permission from the pastor where they live. Most pastors are happy to grant the family's wish. This only becomes a problem if the parents go to no church and therefore have no pastor who can give permission. If it is a first child, after proper instruction by the baptism preparation team, we will baptize the infant and pray that the couple will understand the seriousness of their obligation before God for their child’s religious education and faith formation. If it is a second or subsequent child, and the parents have still made no effort to register in and attend a church near their home, then how can we attest that there is a reasonable expectation that they will raise their children as Catholics?
It’s never easy to deny a baby baptism. But sometimes it is the best alternative, unless we are willing to turn baptism, a great gift of God’s grace, a sacrament, into just a “tradition”. That would be the greatest hypocrisy and a denial of our faith.
Requirements for prospective parents for the Baptism of their child are that at least one parent be a member of St. Anthony Parish as well as being a practicing Catholic. Initial contact is held with Deacon Sal Tantillo on the second Sunday of every month after the 10:30 Mass. After that a baptismal prep. couple will meet with you and then your child can be baptized. Please contact the office to register for the program.
Baptismal Prep Couples are parents of young children who would like to share their experiences raising their child/children in faith with other families who are preparing for the baptism of their child . If you are interested in learning more about this ministry you may contact either of our current couples: Marylisa & Jason Allen or Maura & John Sweeney. You may also contact Deacon Sal.