The Sacrament of Baptism
Baptism is the door to all the other Sacraments. Through Baptism, a person is constituted a son or daughter of God, a brother or sister of the Lord Jesus Christ, a Temple of the Holy Spirit, a member of the Communion of Saints and integrated into the Church. People who are baptized can then receive all the other sacraments in due course.
People can find their way to God and his Church at different stages of their life and thus ask to be baptized at different ages. Many find their way to the faith and to the Church early on, as they grow up in a Christian family. Others may come to seek and find God and his family, the Church, through the mediation of others: through friends who are believers, through Christian groups and institutions, through reading the Bible or Christian art and literature, or through other particular experiences in life.
The Church does not deny the grace of Baptism to persons of any age, so children and infants should be baptized and subsequently be brought up in the faith as members of the Church. Christian parents, according to the promise they made at their wedding in the Church, have the duty to have their children baptized. Adults who have found faith in God the Father, in Jesus Christ his Son, and in the Holy Spirit (that is, the faith of the Church as summarized in the Creed) have the duty to be themselves baptized.
Baptism of Infants and Small Children
Catholics who were baptized as infants complete their Christian initiation as they are growing up by being admitted to (First) Communion and by receiving Confirmation. In the Archdiocese of Ottawa, First Communion (and Reconciliation) are generally celebrated when the child is in grade 2, Confirmation in grade 6.
In St. George’s Parish, we celebrate the Baptism of infants and children regularly on the last Sunday of each month (except in July and August) in the afternoon in the parish hall. In individual cases, Baptisms can also be celebrated during one of our Sunday Masses. On every second Sunday of the month, in the afternoon in the parish hall, a meeting is held for the parents and children in order to prepare them for the celebration of the sacrament: this Baptismal preparation is obligatory for at least one of the parents, and the godparents are also encouraged to attend.
We recommend that you contact the parish office at least two months before the date on which you would like your child to be baptized, as the number of children who can receive the sacrament in one celebration is limited. You can use the form at the bottom of the page in order to register your child for Baptism. In addition, there are separate forms for one God-mother and one God-father.
Baptism of Children
Once children have reached kindergarten and school age, they have the right to a catechetical preparation so they can better appreciate and more effectively receive the sacrament of Baptism which is the door to all the other sacraments.
For kindergarten and lower elementary school children, the parish normally provides a series of special catechetical sessions, through the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, in the atrium located next to the sacristy. As these sessions need to be organized separately, they normally run once per school year. Such Baptisms are sometimes celebrated on weekdays, so the children with whom the candidates attend St George School can also attend the Baptism liturgy.
For older elementary and middle school children, individual arrangements will be made.
As with infants, parents are required to attend one of the Baptismal preparation sessions offered every second Sunday of the month in the afternoon in the parish hall, and godparents are especially invited to participate, too.
Baptism for Adults (14 years and over)
Adolescents and adults who ask to be baptized are prepared for the reception of that sacrament through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA), a preparatory programme that consist of a series of meetings and rituals, culminating in receiving all three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, First Communion) in the Easter Vigil.
If you are over 14 years old and want to be baptized or inquire about Baptism, please contact the parish at any time so we can determine what kind of preparation might be appropriate and organize it accordingly.
Completion of Christian Initiation and Reception into Full Communion with the Catholic Church (Conversion)
If you have been baptized in the Catholic Church as a child but have not completed your initiation (that is, you have not been confirmed and/or have not received first Communion), we can also provide for a preparation programme analogous to the RCIA (see above).
A similar procedure applies to persons who were baptized in another Church or denomination and desire to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
There are special provisions for children who were baptized outside the Catholic Church but who want to become Catholic, with the consent of their parents/guardians; for example, because they attend a Catholic school and want to be admitted to First Reconciliation and Communion preparation.
A family reception in our newly renovated parish hall following the celebration of the sacrament can be arranged through the Parish Manager.
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