The Sacrament of Baptism

Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. (John 3:5) 

An infant should be baptized within the first three months after birth.


The Sacrament of Baptism ushers us into the divine life, cleanses us from sin, and initiates us as members of the Christian community. It is the foundation for the sacramental life. At baptism, the presider prays over the water:

           Father, look now with love upon your Church, and unseal for her the fountain of       
           baptism. By the power of the Holy Spirit give to this water the grace of your Son, so
           that in the sacrament of baptism all those whom you have created in your likeness
           may be cleansed from sin and rise to a new birth of innocence by water and the
           Holy Spirit.  (Christian Initiation of Adults, #222A)


Freed from Sin
Baptism frees us from the bondage of original and actual sin. Water is poured in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Today, the sacrament of baptism is often performed on infants, shortly after birth. Adult baptisms take place at the Easter Vigil through the restored Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. Adults or children who have been baptized in a valid Christian church are not baptized again in the Catholic church. As we say in the Nicene Creed, “I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins…”.   

The Catechism teaches:
"The fruit of Baptism, or baptismal grace, is a rich reality that includes forgiveness of original sin and all personal sins, birth into the new life by which man becomes an adoptive son of the Father, a member of Christ and a temple of the Holy Spirit. By this very fact the person baptized is incorporated into the Church, the Body of Christ, and made a sharer in the priesthood of Christ". (CCC 1279) 

Baptismal Symbols:
Water – The waters of baptism recall Jesus’ own baptism by John the Baptist in the river Jordan. Water is a symbol of cleansing and renewal as we begin a new life in Christ. We are washed clean of sin.
Oil – At baptism we are anointed into the life of Christ as “priest, prophet and king.” A cross is traced on the candidate’s forehead as a reminder that we are inheritors of the Kingdom of God.
Light – The baptismal candle is lit from the Paschal or Easter candle that stands in the church as a sign of Christ’s light in the world. At baptism, we receive the light of Christ and are called forth to share this light with the world.
White garment – The white garment that is placed upon us at baptism is a symbol of Christ’s victory over death and his glorious resurrection. Likewise, the white garment or pall that is placed over the coffin at the time of death recalls our baptismal promises and reminds us that we are destined for eternal life.

Ordinarily, sacraments in the Catholic Church are administered validly by a member of the ordained clergy.  However, in an emergency situation, the Sacrament of Baptism can be administered by anyone.

In case of necessity, any person can baptize provided that he have the intention of doing that which the Church does and provided that he pour water on the candidates head while saying: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit". (CCC 1284)

Baptism Arrangements:
Prior arrangements are necessary. Please contact the parish office for details of the 
Pre-Baptismal Program.  Once you take the class, you do not need to repeat it with each child.  Normally, the pre-baptism class is held on the 3rd Saturday of the month at 11:00 am in the Rectory. Please call (203) 866-3141 to register. The class is free and you may bring your child. 

Remember: An infant should be baptized within the first three months after birth.

Sponsors:
Must be practicing Catholics and able to obtain a sponsor form from their Church that states the following:
As a participating member of the Catholic Church, affirm that:
He/she is at least 16 years of age.
He/she have received the three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Holy Eucharist and Confirmation.
He/she, if married, was married according to the laws of the Catholic Church.
He/she participate in Sunday & Holy Day Masses and give witness to their faith in Christ Jesus by regularly receiving the Sacraments of the Church.
He/she strive daily and, actively, to live out their commitment to Christ and the Catholic Church by sharing his/her time, talents, and financial resources with the Church as means permit, and the needs of the community demand.
He/she will give support to the person they are sponsoring by practicing our Catholic Faith, by word and example: thereby continuing to lead a good Catholic life worthy of imitation.

For further information on the Sacrament of Baptism please download our Baptism booklet, click below.

Baptism Booklet

For a printable Sponsor Certificate Form, click below. An original signed form must be returned to the parish office. We cannot accept an emailed copy.

Sponsor Certificate for St. Thomas Parishioners