Baptism (Being adopted by God) 

What is Baptism?

 

Baptism is a sacrament. A sacrament is a tangible way in which God communicates and imparts God’s love to us. It's a sign of God's grace and love acting in our lives. It is also a way to celebrate the gift of the life of your child and to give them the gift of being adopted as God’s Child. Every single human being, baptized or not, is a child of God but in the Bible we learn that through baptism we become “adopted children of God” because in Roman law a Roman citizen could disinherit their child and disown them for any reason whatsoever. But if a Roman citizen adopted a child, Roman law dictated that you could then never disinherit or disown them; once adopted they were yours forever, whether you like it or not. This is precisely what happens in baptism where God claims us as God’s own forever and ever and we celebrate this adoption with its inherent dignity in the rite of baptism of the Catholic Church so very rich with all sorts of symbols to drive home the point that there is nothing you will ever be able to do to undue the grace given you at baptism.

“He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” Ephesians 1:5


“To redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. " Galatians 4:5-7


"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. "  Romans 8:14-19


"And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies."  Romans 8:23

"For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”"  Romans 8:15

Watch this excellent video explaining the Rite of Baptism

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Baptize my child even though I won’t be going to church every weekend?

Baptism is a sign of God's grace and love in our lives. It's not that different from that first kiss between two lovers or between a parent and their newborn child. It seals the relationship between your child and God. It is a gift God wants to bestow on your child so of course you should have your child baptized even though you may not be going to church every weekend. They will carry this gift with them forever and the grace that baptism bestows on them (Grace is God’s action in a person, God’s energy) will remain with your child forever and ever and no one and nothing will ever be able to take it away. Baptism also makes your child part of the family that is the church, and this belonging will never be taken away from them.

Watch this video explaining

why we baptize infants

Do you baptize children and adults?

Sure. We baptize adults who are drawn to the love of God and have never been baptized before. We baptize infants even though they can't speak for themselves because we see it as a mark of belonging, and you don't have to understand what's going on in order to belong. In the same way, when parents bring a baby back from the hospital, the baby has no understanding of family, but they are definitely a welcome and beloved part of that family. In the Bible we see entire families being baptized, children and adults, as they became members of the church and each one received the gift of baptism.

The Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 16 recounts the story of the baptism of the entire household of the jailer: “Calling for lights, the jailer rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 

Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then Paul and Silas spoke the word of the Lord to him and to everyone in his house.  At that hour of the night, the jailer took them and washed their wounds. And without delay, he and all his household were baptized. Then, he brought them into his home and set a meal before them. So, he and all his household rejoiced that they had come to believe in God.”

If you are an adult you will have to go through a preparation period before your baptism; don’t worry, we make it super easy at Divine Mercy! Contact the church office for when the classes for preparation for adult initiation into the church begin!

Information on adult initiation into the Church:

Do I need to be a member Divine Mercy Church to get baptized or have my child baptized?

While it is not required to be a member of the parish in order to have a child baptized, we do want you to check us out and give us a try. Who knows maybe you will like it? Even if you only come occasionally, we still want you to come. After all, if baptism is all about belonging to the church and committing to follow Christ with the church, how can you not want to at least come once in a while? So, no you don’t have to be a member of the church to have your child baptized and no one will ever be denied the sacrament of baptism but please at least make an effort to give us a try! We want you! We are not the same without you.

I would like to get my child baptized. How should I go about this?  

It's important to understand that baptism is not just a ceremony - it is a spiritual commitment on behalf of the parents and the godparents - before God - to care for and raise a child as a Christian. It is not something to be entered into lightly and is definitely not something we do on short notice. We do not want to make this process difficult for you as we know you have a busy life with lots to do but we do require 1 baptismal preparation class which lasts 1 ½ hours. You cannot bring children to this class so please plan accordingly for babysitting. At the class you will find out what happens during the baptismal ceremony so its important to attend for both parents and godparents. You have to register at the parish office for this class, which is held once a month.  

At Divine Mercy, baptisms are celebrated at 9am in English and at 10 am in Spanish on Saturday mornings,  and during our weekend liturgies. That is, you may also have your child baptized at Saturday Vigil or Sunday Holy Mass