Baptism

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Matthew 28: 19 – 20a NIV

Baptism Registration Process

Parents wishing to have their child baptised are requested to lodge the Online St James Baptism Application Form and provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Phone number/s
  • Street address
  • The time frame: when you are next available, and
  • The specific date or month you are hoping for.

Alternatively you can phone the Baptism Co-ordinators, Jacinta and John Fisher on 0438 793 630.

*Please take a few minutes to read all the information provided below.
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Baptism is the foundation of the whole of Christian life – the gateway to life in the Holy Spirit and the door which gives access to the other sacraments.  It is a sacrament of initiation through which a person is reborn as a daughter or son of God and begins his or her formal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church. Through Baptism, Christians are integrated into the Body of Christ, the Church.

Parents who seek baptism for their child are asking that their son or daughter be initiated into the Catholic community and the local church of St James the Apostle Parish. The church baptises infants and children on the faith of their parents. Since a child’s faith is learned from their parents, the ideal is that parents have a deep faith which they actively live out in the experience of the Catholic Church community

The Sacrament of Baptism marks the beginning of the journey of faith. For all Christians, it is the defining moment that reflects a deep union with Jesus Christ. There is mutual responsibility involved: the faith community of St James expresses its pastoral responsibility to its members, and the family accepts its responsibility by nurturing the faith offered in the sacrament.

The following information and guidelines have been provided to help parents understand and prepare for the process of having their child baptised in the Catholic Church at St James the Apostle Parish. Please read these guidelines carefully. If you have any questions, please contact our Baptism Coordinators, Jacinta and John Fisher on 0438 793 630.

 

Guidelines for the Celebration of Baptism of Infants and Children at St James

  •       “The local community will support parish families in nurturing the faith of its new members”. (Canon Law 857/2) As it is the role of the local community to nurture the faith of its new members and to provide support for parents, children should be baptised in the parish in which they live. It makes little sense to initiate a child into a community they will not participate in regularly. Thus, children who live within the parish boundaries will be baptised into the Catholic community of our parish. Families living outside the normal parish boundaries who have no link with our community are encouraged to celebrate the baptism within their own parish. Similarly, former parishioners of St James who have not maintained some active involvement are encouraged to celebrate baptism within their own parish.

 

  •       Children who live within the parish boundary of St James the Apostle parish should not be baptised in another parish without the written consent of the parish priest and without adequate baptismal preparation.

 

  •       Generally, baptisms at St James are celebrated on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the month at 12 noon following the 10.30 am Mass. Usually, there are no more than six families celebrating baptism at any one time.  Families, godparents and guests are warmly invited to participate in the 10.30 mass before the ceremony since the Eucharist lies at the heart of who we are as a believing people, the meal that sustains and nurtures us through the journey. Participation in the Sunday Mass cultivates an invaluable connection between the parish faith community and the newly initiated member.

 

  •       Parents who are regular and committed worshippers are welcome to have their child baptised at any of our weekend Masses.  As a sacrament of initiation, the baptism of a parishioner’s child is a milestone celebration and so it is fitting that it is celebrated with those with whom you regularly worship.

 

  •       If non-parishioners wish to use our church for a baptism, they are respectfully requested to arrange for their own celebrant who is responsible for the preparation, paper work and pastoral follow-up. All baptism details must then be provided to the parish office at St James for our register. A date can only be confirmed when their parish priest has given permission. A donation contribution for the church can be given at the parish office.

 

  •       A person can only be baptised once. If a child has been baptised in another denomination, or if both parents are non-Catholic, a personal discussion with the parish priest is required.

 

Baptism Preparation Evening

The parents of a child who is to be baptised, and those who are to undertake the office of godparent, are to be suitably instructed on the meaning of the sacrament and the obligation attached to it. Participation in our Baptismal Preparation Class for parents is a requirement before a baptism can be scheduled.  This session is held on the 1st Thursday of the month at St James the Apostle Church commencing at 7.00 p.m. We hope this session will give parents an even greater appreciation of this sacrament and will present them with suggestions on how to pass on the beliefs and values of the Catholic Church to their children. Godparents are also invited to attend so that they too may prepare for the celebration of this sacrament.

When you arrive to the meeting we will provide you with a Baptism Offering envelope.  Your donation can be placed in this envelope and given to the Baptism Team at the end of the evening.  Typically, donations of $100 or more are given.

 

Godparents and Christian Witness Requirements

  •      The choice of godparents is important. Ideally, a godparent represents the Catholic Church at Baptism. Together with the parents, they serve as the role model for the child by living a fully Christian life, providing a life-long example of Christian living and encouraging the child in the experience of our Catholic faith. The godparents should be people whose faith lends itself to this living example.

 

  •       According to Canon Law, godparents should be at least 16 years of age, practicing Catholics and should be fully initiated into the Catholic Church – that is, they have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation – and be living a life in harmony with the Catholic faith. One godparent, male or female, is sufficient but there may be two or more.  Another person, a baptised Christian, may witness the baptism along with the Catholic godparent.

Fr. Jude Pirotta mssp – Parish Priest

On behalf of the Baptism Preparation Team:     

  •      Jacinta Fisher – Coordinator
  •      John Fisher – Coordinator
  •      Angela Struthers
  •      Chris Innocenzi
  •      Kath Hudson
  •      Bev Winchcombe
  •      Victoria Papavero