The first Sacrament of the Church is, of course, Baptism. Through this Sacrament, we are granted forgiveness of all sin, Original and personal, and are made members of the Body of Christ (i.e. part of the Church). As a result of our being baptized, we are commissioned by Christ Himself to be a part of the spreading of the Gospel.
Everyone knows the basics of how a Baptism happens: the person to be baptized, whether adult, child, or infant, is either immersed in water or has water poured on him/her. We are so used to this, so familiar with the basic procedure, that it can be easy to overlook the beauty of it. Try for a moment to imagine someone who knows nothing whatsoever of Christianity, walking into a room and seeing a man in a white robe and some other vestments, pouring water on a baby. What is that person going to assume is going on? He would naturally assume that the baby is being bathed, or cleaned up. That is one of the natural meanings of water. We really don’t need to be taught that water cleans things; we simply know it. It is natural.
This is how God speaks to us in the Sacrament of Baptism. He uses a simple, everyday action, which all people are easily able to understand, to tell us that He is now “cleaning up” someone. Of course, we know that what is being cleaned is not dirt on a baby’s forehead, but the sins on a person’s soul. This deeper meaning is seen only with the eyes of faith. Thus in Baptism, as in all other Sacraments, our physical senses take in what is happening, and then the light of faith takes that information, and sees something which otherwise would be invisible to the naked eye, namely God forgiving sins and making anew member of the Body of Christ.
Baptism (Infants and children)
When: The Sacrament is celebrated on Sundays at 1:00 pm in the Nave. Advance scheduling is necessary with the Rectory.
The Sacrament may also be celebrated within Mass, at the request of parents. Advance scheduling is necessary with the Rectory.
Preparation: Parents are expected to attend a one hour class, held on the second Monday of each month in the Monsignor Ernest Graham Building beginning at 7 pm. Sponsors/God Parents are not expected to attend this class; however, they are welcome to attend.
God parents: Canon Law requires only one sponsor/God parent, who is to be Catholic. However, if two God-parents are selected then one must be male and the other female (to parallel the natural birth relationship of father and mother).
If there are two sponsors/God parents, it is permitted that one may be a baptized non-Catholic. This person is called a Christian witness. This person must be serious about his/her Christian faith by regular Church attendance, contact with a faith community and a life of good example.
Catholic sponsors/God parents must have the following criteria:
Must be at least 16 years of age, already received Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist, must be practicing the Catholic Faith (weekly Mass, regular Sacrament of Penance, contact with a parish Faith community) no impediments to the practice of Faith (e.g. may not be married outside the Catholic Church, may not have a life of bad example). Must have the priest of his/her parish write a letter of commendation to be received at Saint Cecilia Cathedral rectory before the date of the baptism.
The essential question all adults must answer when presenting an infant/child for Baptism is: once baptized, it will be your responsibility to raise this child in the Catholic Faith, are you ready and willing to fulfill this responsibility?
Parents who are not married or are not married in the Catholic Church may present an infant or child for Baptism as long as they are ready and willing to raise the infant/child in the Catholic Faith.
Marriage or the validation of marriage is a separate question and should be addressed with the priests of the parish.
Grandparents or guardians or non-custodial parents may not ask for baptism without the consent of the custodial parent.
Baptism (Adolescents, Teens and Adults)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is the ordinary pathway for preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist).
Saint Cecilia Cathedral RCIA is directed by Deacon James Tardy. Classes meet on Thursday evenings from September to Pentecost in the Parish Center of the Monsignor Ernest Graham Building.
Contact the Cathedral Rectory (402-551-2313) or Deacon Tardy (402-558-0820) for questions or registration.
Baptism/Profession of Faith (School Children or Faith Formation)
Individual cases will be addressed with the Pastor (402-551-2313) and the specific contact person in the School or the Faith Formation Program.