The first of the three sacraments of initiation, frees us from Original Sin and, by giving us New Life, makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church. Arrangements for Baptism are made individually with Fr. Martin.
Parents who seek Baptism for an infant or child must themselves be Confirmed members of the Catholic Church who regularly celebrate the Eucharist with St. Bede’s Parish Community.
Admission to Catholic Schools / Baptism
To avoid any ambiguity regarding Baptism and admission to Catholic Schools, a significantly longer period of notice and preparation is required where a request for Baptism is made for a child of school age.
FIRST GENERAL AUDIENCE OF 2014
BAPTISM IS NOT A FORMALITY
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 Vatican City, 8 January 2014 (VIS)
In his first general audience of 2014, Pope Francis began a new series of catechesis on the Sacraments, starting with Baptism and recalling that by a fortunate coincidence, next Sunday will be the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Baptism is the Sacrament “on which our faith is based, and which grafts us to Christ and His Church, as living members. Together with the Eucharist and Confirmation it forms the so-
However, the Bishop of Rome observed, we might ask, “Is Baptism truly necessary for us to live as Christians and to follow Jesus? Is it not fundamentally a simple rite, a formal act of the Church, for naming a child?” To answer this, he repeated the words of the apostle Paul: “Don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? We were there-
“Therefore, it is not a mere formality! A baptised child is not the same as an child who is not baptised; a baptised person is not the same as one who has not received baptism. It is an act that touches the depth of our existence. We are immersed in that inexhaustible fount of life that is the death of Jesus, the greatest act of love of all history; and thanks to this love we are able to live a new life, no longer at the mercy of evil, sin and death, but rather in communion with God and with our brothers”.
The Pope again commented that many of us do not know the date when we were baptised and, as before, asked, those present in St. Peter's Square to find out the date of their baptism, as “it is a happy date”. “Obviously we do not remember the ceremony, especially if we were baptised soon after birth, but it is a pity not to recognise the importance of this day, as we thereby “risk losing sight of what the Lord has done for us, of the gift we have received. We end up considering it merely as an event that took place in the past and not even by our will, but rather by that of our parents that has no effect on the present”.
Instead, “we are called to live out our Baptism day after day, as a current fact of our existence. If we succeed in following Jesus and remaining in the Church, even with our limits and our frailty, it is precisely because of the Sacrament in which we became new creatures and were re-
Another characteristic of Baptism, concluded the Pontiff, is that “no-