Baptism

The Sacrament of Baptism is often called "The door of the Church," because it is the first of the seven sacraments not only in time (since most Catholics receive it as infants) but also in priority, since the reception of the other sacraments depends on it. Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the Church. Traditionally, the rite (or ceremony) of baptism was held outside the doors of the main part of the church, to signify this fact. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of Holy Communion.

At St. Magdalen’s, baptisms of infants and young children are celebrated for families who are registered members of the parish. Below are the requirements for infant baptism and a brief overview of the process.

  1. If the parents live inside the parish boundaries, they should register to begin the process.
  2. Attend a baptismal course that briefly reviews the theology and rite of the sacrament ofBaptism. Arrangements for the Parent Preparation Class and Baptism may be made by calling the Church Office at (908) 751-1723.
  3. Parents must provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

Are you an adult who is seeking baptism? Have you ever wondered about what Catholics believe or want to become a Catholic? If you are not baptized, have been baptized in another Christian faith, or were baptized Catholic but never received Confirmation and Eucharist, please consider joining us to find out what it means to follow Christ as a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church. Jesus is calling us to grow in discipleship as we accompany each other on the journey of faith. Join our RCIA members in responding to Jesus’ call to “Come and follow me”.

To learn more about receiving the sacrament of Baptism, please contact Carmela Kinney at (908) 751-1723, or ckinney@stmagdalen.org.

  1. Each proposed Godparent needs to be certified by their own parish as meeting the requirements for Godparents. Godparents are chosen for their faithful commitment and for their ability to assist the Godchild and parents on their faith journey. Only one Godparent is required for baptism, either male or female; if two Godparents are selected, then one must be male and other female.
  2. Each Godparent must meet the following requirements:
    1. Must be at least 16 years of age.
    2. May not be the natural or adoptive parent of the child being baptized.
    3. Must be fully initiated Roman Catholic (Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion).
    4. Must be an active, practicing Catholic in full communion with the Catholic Church and striving to live a life in harmony with its teachings.
    5. If married, the marriage must be valid according to Church teaching.

CCC 1253-1255
Everyone who is to be baptized is required to make a profession of faith. This is done personally in the case of an adult or by the parents and by the Church in the case of infants. Also the godfather or the godmother and the whole ecclesial community share the responsibility for baptismal preparation (catechumenate) as well as for the development and safeguarding of the faith and grace given at baptism.

CCC 1257
Baptism is necessary for salvation for all those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.

CCC 1258-1261, 1281-1283
Since Christ died for the salvation of all, those can be saved without Baptism who die for the faith (Baptism of blood). Catechumens and all those who, even without knowing Christ and the Church, still (under the impulse of grace) sincerely seek God and strive to do his will can also be saved without Baptism (Baptism of desire). The Church in her liturgy entrusts children who die without Baptism to the mercy of God.

CCC 1262-1274. 1279-1280
Baptism takes away original sin, all personal sins and all punishment due to sin. It makes the baptized person a participant in the divine life of the Trinity through sanctifying grace, the grace of justification which incorporates one into Christ and into his Church. It gives one a share in the priesthood of Christ and provides the basis for communion with all Christians. It bestows the theological virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A baptized person belongs forever to Christ. He is marked with the indelible seal of Christ (character).