Baptism Preparation for Children Birth to Under the Age of Seven
Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church, and made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word.”
Since the earliest times, Baptism has been administered to children, for it is a grace and a gift of God that does not presuppose any human merit; children are baptized in the faith of the Church. Entry into Christian life gives access to true freedom.
The Church beckons all its members to bring their children for Baptism. In order to assure that the parents understand what their role is as Christian parents, St. Gabriel’s has a mandatory preparation session for parents. Godparents are also welcome and encouraged to come, but not required. The session is generally held on the first Thursday of the month at 7-8pm.
Per Church and Diocese of Phoenix guidelines, Baptism Godparents (sponsors) must be 16 years old, fully initiated Roman Catholics (Baptized, Confirmed and receiving Holy Communion), and regularly practicing their faith. A baptized non-Catholic may be chosen as a Christian witness provided there is at least one Catholic Godparent meeting the above criteria. St. Gabriel does require a Godparent verification form from the Godparent’s parish of registration and must be received no less than two weeks prior to the child’s Baptism.
Registration for Baptism Preparation
We are excited to join you as you initiate your child’s faith journey in the Sacrament of Baptism. Please call the parish office at (480) 595-0883 to start the registration process and then contact the Infant Baptism Coordinator, Diane Starkweather.
At some point before or after the Baptism preparation session, you will also be asked to meet with a priest to get to know you a little.
For the Baptism preparation session, you will be asked for pertinent information, such as parents’ names, date of birth of the child (if already born), and name(s) of Godparent(s), if known.
You will be required to bring the child’s birth certificate and signed/authorized Godparent verification forms at least 2 weeks prior to the Baptism. This is so we can assure all information provided is accurate for the parish record, which is a legal document.
The Rite of Baptism
Baptisms of children under the age of 7 are generally celebrated with Deacon Bill Clower at noon, the second Sunday of the month. If you would like to request a different day/time or another priest/deacon, make your request known to the Infant Baptism Coordinator at registration, and we will try and accommodate.
Please contact the parish office at (480) 595-0883 if you have any further questions about the Sacrament of Baptism for Infants.
Click here if you would like to read the Diocese of Phoenix policy on the Sacrament of Baptism for Infants.
For Baptism of Persons Age 7 or Older
The Church considers age 7 the age of reason, meaning that at that age a child can discern the difference between right and wrong. For that reason, children over age 7, along with adults, are baptized through another formation process. Please contact Dian Starkweather, our Baptism Coordinator, at the parish office for more information, and/or to register for that process.