As a child, Francis de Sales would arrange his playmates around the baptismal font and say to them:
This is the spot that ought to be dearest to you, for it was here that we were made children of God...
About the Sacrament of Baptism
"Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua) and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons [and daughters] 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." ~Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) # 1213
As a Sacrament of Initiation, this step of Baptism carries with it the commitment of the parents and godparents (sponsors) to share their faith and witness to their relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. Faith that is actively lived and experienced will be more easily learned by the child as he/she sees it through the parent’s and godparent's involvement and commitment.
Scheduling an Infant Baptism
First of all, congratulations on your new child! The Sacrament of Baptism is a tremendously important step in your child's life of faith, and the OLGC community is here to support you and your child in the faith. Your child is baptized into the community of believers--the Body of Christ. "The whole (ecclessial) community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at baptism." ~CCC #1255
In order to schedule a Baptism at OLGC, a few things need to be submitted before a date can be finalized.
- Be registered with OLGC parish for at least 6 months.
- Complete the Request a Baptism Form- Click here or the button below.
- Submit a copy of the child's birth certificate.
- Submit proof of attendance at a Baptismal Preparation Session (within the last 3 years). See below.
- If not registered at OLGC, a letter of permission from your home parish.
- Submit a letter of good standing from the Catholic parish at which they are registered. Click here for more details.
- Submit proof of attendance at a Baptismal Preparation Session, either from OLGC or another parish. See below.
The Request a Baptism Form mentioned above needs to be filled out and the paperwork mentioned above for both Parents and Godparents needs to be mailed or emailed to OLGC, Attn: Maria Romero, before scheduling a date for Baptism.
Available Dates for Infant Baptism
When looking at possible Baptism dates for your child, it is important that you start planning a few months in advance, especially if you have family members that are traveling from far away, as getting all the documents and requirements in line can take a few weeks. When all the documents are on file at OLGC, the specific date will be discussed further with a parish staff member before scheduling a date. A date will only be scheduled after the documents have been received.
Baptisms are ordinarily celebrated on the second and fourth Saturdays of every month at 10:00 am in the Chapel. During Advent and Lent, Baptisms are celebrated only on one Saturday during the season.
The godparent/sponsor has the beautiful role and responsibility of journeying with the one to be baptized on the road of Christian life. Through his/her companionship with the one to be baptized, he/she witnesses to the love of God/the Holy Trinity, his/her relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church, the importance of a life lived in the sacraments, and the power of faith, prayer, and God's grace in everyday life.
The godparent/sponsor commits him/herself to praying for the one to be baptized, being present in the life of one to be baptized, and helping the one to be baptized to remain faithful to his/her baptismal promises taken on behalf of the child by the parents and the godparents.
This role of godparent is not to be taken lightly, since a good deal of responsibility, a most beautiful responsibility with cosmic significance, comes with it--to help guide the one to be baptized closer to Christ and ultimately to eternal life by the acceptance of God's grace in one's life.
Because of this significant role, the godparent/sponsor must:
- Be at least 16 years of age.
- NOT be the parent of the person to be Baptized or the candidate for Confirmation.
- Have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion.
- Be an active Catholic committed to living a life in accord with Catholic teaching and tradition.
- If married, your current marriage must have been witnessed by a Catholic Priest or Deacon.
- Fully participate in the Sacramental life of the Church and are free to receive Holy Communion when you come to Mass.
- Present the person to be Baptized or the candidate for Confirmation for the sacrament and further help them to fulfill their baptismal promises, faithfully, in accordance with the Holy Spirit.
There must be at least one godparent/sponsor for Baptism and he/she must provide a Letter of Good Standing from his/her parish. Please see the questions and answers below for more details.
If the godparent/sponsor is a parishioner at OLGC, he/she needs to come to the Parish Administration Building to sign the Letter of Good Standing in the presence of the Pastor or one of his delegates.
Contact: Maria Romero, 703.896.7419
Older Children and Adult Baptism
If a child ages 7-18 or an adult is seeking baptism you are invited to take part in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) or the RCIA adapted for Children.
The Baptismal Preparation Session
The Baptism preparation session will provide some theology and formation on the Sacrament of Baptism, walk you through the beauty and gift of the Rite of Baptism, and share with you your responsibilities as you bring your child forward for Baptism.
Though it is recommended to take it at OLGC, the class can be taken anywhere, but OLGC will require proof of attendance from the parish at which the class is taken.
Baptism preparation sessions at OLGC are taking place virtually, which you can do at any time once you register. You will receive more details upon registration.
- How many godparents/sponsors can I have for the Baptism?
- If the godparents/sponsors were sponsors at a previous Baptism do they still need to get a Letter of Good Standing?
- Do the godparents/sponsors have to be physically present at the Baptism?
- My child is adopted, does the Church need any special documents?
- Who do I contact if I have more questions?