You may have seen in the bulletin that the way we celebrate Baptisms here at St. John is going to be getting an update. What is changing is not Baptism, itself, of course, but when we celebrate them. We will be moving to an “in Mass” celebration for the majority of our Baptisms, beginning in Advent. The decision to move this sacrament was not made lightly, but came after much prayer and discernment. We are intentionally inviting ALL members of the St. John Parish family to be an active part of the Baptisms we celebrate.
The first question many of you may be asking is, “Why?” The answer to that is easy, really, because in Mass is where Baptism belongs. Baptism changes our very being into that of being an adopted son/daughter of God, and makes us members of the Body of Christ. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #1267, “Baptism incorporates us into the Church. From the baptismal fonts is born the one People of God of the New Covenant,” (emphasis original). It is wholly appropriate, therefore, for those of us already living in the Church to be present for the loving welcoming of our newest brother or sister. In addition, CCC 1253 states that, “Baptism is the sacrament of faith. But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe.” Our presence at Baptism should be encouraging to the faith of the newly baptized, their parents, and Godparents.
The Baptism of infants in our community should be a joyful celebration of welcoming into the Christian life, a renewal of our own Baptismal promises, and an evangelical event in the life of the family! Please pray with me that all of those seeking Baptism in our parish are as excited to bring their child to the family of God as we are to be here. When you see a child dressed in white at Mass, remember that he or she is about to become part of our family and extend a hand to their friends and guests that may be strangers in our parish.
If you have any questions or comments about the celebration of Baptism within Mass at St. John, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 784-0553.