Notre Dame Catholic Church

The Sacrament of Baptism: Our Initiation In Christ's Life

God calls everyone to accept His love and salvation. He sent His beloved Son that we might understand the extent of that love. Jesus formed a community around himself, giving them the power to extend salvation and love in his name to the whole world. He told them to go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through Baptism, each person receives the power to be another Christ. As Jesus was the Son of God so do we become children of God.

As Jesus was anointed King, prophet and priest, so are we. Like Jesus the King, we are called to bring justice and peace to the world. Like Jesus the Prophet we are called to spread the Good News of God's gift of love and salvation. Like Jesus the Priest we are called to serve God and our neighbour. In Baptism we are initiated into the life of God and of the community. We commit ourselves to furthering the interests of God and his Kingdom. We reject from our lives all that is not from God. Baptism is a contract in which we promise to share our life completely with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and in return, our Triune God promises to share all that He is with us. Through Baptism, our lives are opened up to see and share in a love that we could never have imagined before.

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Preparation of Parents and Godparents

The parents of an infant to be baptized, as well as those who will be the godparents, should be suitably instructed about the meaning of this sacrament and about the obligations that go with it. The pastor personally or through others should ensure that the parents are duly instructed through pastoral exhortations and also by common prayer; several families may be brought together for this purpose and, where possible, each family visited. (Can. 851, 2)

Duties of Parents

  1. Parents are bound by obligation to see that their infants are baptized within the first weeks after birth. As soon as possible after birth, or even before it, they should see the pastor so that they may request the sacrament for their child and receive preparation for baptism.
  2. For an infant to be baptized licitly, it is necessary that:
    • at least one of the parents consents to it, or the person who lawfully takes their place consents;
    • there is a well-founded hope that the child will be brought up in the Catholic religion. If this hope is utterly lacking, the baptism should be deferred according to the prescriptions of particular law, explaining the reason to the parents.

Name of Child

The parents, godparents, and pastor are to see that the name given is not foreign to Christian sentiment. (Can. 855)


  1. There should be a godparent for the person to be baptized insofar as this is possible. In adult baptism the godparent assists the baptized in Christian initiation. In infant baptism the godparent, together with the parents, presents the child for baptism and helps the baptized to lead the Christian life expected by baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent to it. (Can. 872)
  2. There may be one godfather, one godmother, or one of each. (Can. 873)
  3. To be accepted to undertake the duty of a godparent, it is necessary:
    • that one be designated by the person to be baptized or by the parents or the person who takes their place or, if these are lacking, by the pastor or minister; and that one have the aptitude for an intention of carrying out this duty;
    • that one be at least 16 years of age, unless the diocesan bishop shall have established another age or unless in an exceptional case it seems to the pastor or minister that there is just cause to admit a younger person;
    • that one is Catholic, confirmed, and already has received the Holy Eucharist, and likewise leads a life of faith in harmony with the undertaking of this duty;
    • that one is not under a lawfully imposed or declared canonical penalty;
    • that one is not the father or mother of the one to be baptized (Can. 874, 1)

If the godparent cannot be present in person, he or she may appoint another person to serve as a proxy, but the appointment must be made in such a way that there is certainty as to the person who takes the responsibility as godparent. Ordinarily the appointment of the proxy should be made by the godparent in writing or before two witnesses, in order that there be certainty as to who is the responsible person. In the record of baptism the names of both the godparent and the proxy are entered.

Non-Catholic Witness

A baptized person belonging to a non-Catholic ecclesial community may be admitted as a witness to baptism but only along with a Catholic godparent. (Can. 874, 82)


Because of the natural relationships, parents have a ministry and a responsibility in the baptism of infants more important than those of the godparents do. It is very important that the parents be present at the celebration in which their child is reborn in water and the Holy Spirit.

Time of Baptism

Although baptism may be celebrated on any day, it is commendable to celebrate it ordinarily on Sundays or, if possible, at the Easter Vigil. (Can. 856) If an infant is in danger of death, it should be baptized without delay. (Can. 867)

Place of Baptism

The proper place for baptism is a church or oratory. As a rule, the baptism of adults is held in their own parish church, and the baptism of infants takes place in the parish church of their parents, unless there is a just reason for having it elsewhere (Can. 857)

  • Baptisms are scheduled in consultation between the family and the pastor.
  • Please keep in mind that you must book your Baptism one month in advance.
  • The required preparation class for parents and godparents is held only once per month and must be pre-booked also.

Phone Parish Office at (204) 482-3422

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