…..from your Pastors’ Desk…
The Baptism of the Lord
And a voice came from the heavens, saying:
“This is my beloved Son; with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3)
Jesus has just been baptized by John. There’s a crowd. Many of them have also just been baptized. Jesus feels the enormity of the occasion and kneels to pray. Then, suddenly, something happens to change everything. The heavens open and the Holy Spirit descends in the form of a dove and God speaks to His Son.
What an overwhelming experience it must have been for everyone who witnessed the event. Jesus had shown both acceptance of his humanness and solidarity with the people. The loving words of His Father gave Him strength and courage to set out on the mission that would ultimately lead to the cross. He clearly knew God’s Will and what He must do to follow it.
Unlike Jesus who began His ministry with Divine endorsement, few of us can ever be certain that we are totally pleasing God. While we strive to do God’s Will, very often it is not clear whether God’s Will and our will are the same. We tend to follow our inclination, assuming that since God placed these desires in our hearts, we must be on the right track. When we are nagged by self-doubt, there are two useful questions for self—assessment.
-The first is to ask ourselves whether we are at peace – whether personally or professionally. If we spread love and joy, then in all likelihood we are living out God’s dream for us.
-On the other hand, if we experience constant chaos within and without, then we may need to pray for clarity and seek advice from those wiser than ourselves.
If you attend the Sunday Morning Masses, especially the 10:15 mass, you will notice an increased number of families. What a joy to see. And with families come young children and babies. And with babies and young children comes baptism!
Accordingly we are including the basic requirements to have a child baptized in a parish. As you know we cannot do baptisms ‘on-demand’. Nor is there any sense in baptizing a child into a faith in which the child has little or no chance of being raised, particularly if someone wanted the baptism for more cultural than spiritual reasons. However, we do understand that many do not know the specific conditions that need to be met preceding baptism, conditions set by Holy Mother Church, which gracefully bring a person, of any age, into the local Catholic Community.
So, for clarification purposes – here are the basic requirements:
-Family must be registered in a parish and be regular Mass attendees
-One or both parents need to be a practicing Catholic
-Child must have a reasonable chance to be brought up in the Faith.
-Parents and God parents must attend a ‘Baptism Preparation’ class.
-At least one God-parent must be a practicing Catholic
-A three month waiting period (after initial request) is required – so the Parish and the family can become fully acquainted as the child is being baptized into this Parish Family.
These may seem obvious, but some might need clarification or explanation, especially to people who are either new to the faith or are recently returning to the practice of the faith. Please contact Fr. Ron who will be very happy to meet with you.