Congratulations on the arrival of your child into God's beautiful world and on entering this new season in your life. The creation of new life is truly a miracle. We believe it will be filled with joys, challenges and love. We are honoured to walk with you as you prepare for your child's reception of the sacrament of baptism. You are your child's first experience of what it means to relate to others, including relating to God. It is through you that the spiritual life is awakened in your child. The waters of baptism draw your child to God, through a relationship with Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is all about belonging, belonging in the family of God. You belong in our parish family and we are delighted you are here with us. The baptism ceremony is a special family time, but also special for our parish community who love to celebrate with you.
What is Baptism:
- is the first of the three sacraments of initiation into the Catholic Church
- is the beginning of your child's journey into the faith and into the Body of Christ, which is the community of all believe
- is a public declaration that you are a follower of Jesus Christ
- is a public profession of your faith in, and commitment to, Jesus Christ
As our children are too young to make baptismal promises themselves, parents make this commitment on their children's behalf. On the day of baptism, you will be asked this question:
"You have asked to have your child baptised, in doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training him/her in the practice of the faith. it will be your duty to bring him/her up to keep God's commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you will be undertaking?
There are many things we teach our children. We teach them to walk, to talk and to ride a bike. We teach them our morals and values.
In Matthew 28:19-29 we were given The Great Commission:
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you."
By making this baptismal promise, we are publicly declaring we are a follower of Jesus and his teachings and committing to help our children develop a relationship with God and guide them in the practices of the Catholic faith.
Baptism is the beginning of a lifelong journey and a way of life. Like any other significant journey we take, it requires preparation. Our program is designed to encourage and support you; to come to know, understand and create a deeper awareness, that you and your family are part of a bigger family - your faith family. Wherever you are on your faith journey, our community is happy to walk alongside you and help you in preparing for the goal of baptism. We ask that you take some time to pray and reflect on what you are asking for your children and your readiness to make this promise. During your child's preparation you will be invited to reflect on your own faith journey, discuss what the implications are for your child as they grow and develop spiritually and how you and the Godparents will support and nurture your child to live out their baptismal call to discipleship as they advance through each stage of life. This is a beginning, a beginning of belonging.
At Our Lady of Dolours Parish, there are four steps in the celebration of Infant Baptism:
- The first step: Making a time to meet with Bernadette Ho or a member of our welcoming team. Welcoming and getting to know new families is our passion, we enjoy journeying alongside families, hearing their unique story and will accompany you as you prepare for your child's baptism. Building a sense of connection and belonging within our parish family is really important to us.
- The second step: Attending a Baptism Preparation Gathering. The gatherings are held on a Saturday at 4:00pm in the parish meeting rooms, once a month and last around one hour. Our gatherings are relaxed and informal and offer a wonderful opportunity for you to meet other families as well as members of our parish team, ask questions, share your story and experience of being a parent. It's a chance to reflect on your hopes and dreams for your child on the occasion of their baptism and beyond. Creating space to understand the beauty and richness of the sacrament of baptism, we invite you to reflect on Jesus' love for you and your precious child. Our time together is designed to help you think about the call to live on purpose, and to inspire you to follow Jesus in this season and every season of your life. We desire for everyone to feel welcome, and if you are a parent from a different Christian denomination or faith tradition, we acknowledge with gratitude your support of your child's faith journey.
- The third step: We believe there is no better way to welcome your child into our parish family than to invite you to join us for Mass. Our baptism presentation masses are held during the 9am family Mass. During the celebration of Mass your child will be welcomed into our faith community, signed with the sign of the cross and anointed with the oil of baptism. Of course, any other children or members of your family are welcome to attend Mass. This is wonderful opportunity to ask the Godparents to join your family in celebrating the journey of baptism with their Godchild.
- The Baptism ceremony: Held on Sundays at midday (outside of Mass). The church wants every baptism to be a community celebration, not a private one. Even when a baptism is booked for a time outside of Mass, it is not a private ceremony, but open to other families who may wish to have their child baptised at this time. Being together enriches us all.
Following baptism, we invite you to continue on your own spiritual journey with the support and encouragement of your parish community. This follows after your child's baptism. This is a new beginning - not just for your child, but for you too. It is our prayer to help guide you on the personal journey you are taking as a parent. You may not have spent much time thinking about your role in God's family up until now. You may feel you don't know much about who you are as a Catholic in relation to the church community. This questioning/feeling is completely normal. We offer a series of reflections and questions for you to ponder, designed to give you an intimate opportunity - to invite God into your life, in a more intentional, purposeful way.
Our hope and prayer for you and your family is that this journey of faith that led you to baptise your child, will continue to bear fruit in your life and remind you that you are an important part of God's family...you belong! We love celebrating baptisms and look forward to working with you to make the baptism of your child a beautiful and meaningful experience for your family.
To enrol your child for Baptism, please contact Bernadette Ho in the Parish Office by phone 9410 9031 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org your completed Infant Baptism Enrolment Form.
INFANT BAPTISM ENROLMENT FORM
For more information please download the Infant Baptism Dates by clicking on the link below