Baptism

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 are needed:

For Parents:

  • The OLGC Request a Baptism Form- Click here or the button below.
  • A copy of the Child's Birth Certificate
  • 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

For Godparents:

  • A letter of good standing from the Catholic Parish at which they are registered. Click here for more details.
  • Proof of Attendance at a Baptismal Preparation Session (within 3 years). 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 to OLGC, Attn: Gerard Hall or emailed to Gerard Hall at liturgy@olgcva.org before scheduling a date for Baptism.

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.

OLGC has sessions on the last Monday of the month at 7:30 pm in the St. Joseph Center in English and Spanish, except for March, May, and December because of holiday dates.  Please see the registration form for the dates for March, May, and December. It usually lasts about an hour.  Click here or the button below to register for a session. 

*Please note at this time due to COVID-19, Baptism Preparation Sessions are taking place virtually, which you can do at any time once you register.  You will receive more details upon registration.

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 11:00 am. During Advent and Lent, Baptisms are celebrated only on one Saturday during the season. Check church website calendar for available dates

Godparents/Sponsors

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 one to be baptized's life, 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
  • A fully initiated Catholic (having received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation)
  • Actively participating in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church
  • Living a life in harmony with the faith and the role to be undertaken
  • If married, have his/her marriage witnessed by a Catholic priest or deacon

There must be at least 1 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.

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.

FAQs