Letter from Fr. Yarek
You have been blessed with your newly born child/children. What a great time for you: the Mother, Father and other members of the Family. Our Parish community also wants to share your joy and pray for all the blessings you need to grow as a loving, healthy Family.
As you wish to have your child/children baptized in the faith of the Catholic Church which both or one of you share, I encourage you to see in this sacred event the Heavenly Father’s love poured out upon your child/children and on you as parents. Your child/children will become a beloved son(s) and/or daugther(s) of God and will be able to call God his/her Father. St. Paul in his letter to Ephesians wrote about the wonderful blessings of those who call themselves Christians and children of God:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have obtained an inheritance…” (Eph 1:3-11).
Let the time of preparation for this event be a spiritual one, a strengthening of your faith, a refresher for your own friendship with the Lord and his Church. The baptism of your child will certainly bring about great graces in your child/children, however, the lasting and mature fruits can only be experienced if the Christian faith is genuinely practiced and shared in your family.
At the beginning of the baptismal rite the minister (a priest or a deacon) asks this question: “What do you ask of God’s Church for N ……?” and you answer: “BAPTISM”
Then, the celebrant continues to remind you of your important responsibilities as Christian parents in these or similar words:
“You have asked to have your children baptized. In doing so you are accepting the responsibility of training them in the practice of the faith. It will be your duty to bring them up to keep God’s commandments as Christ taught us, by loving God and our neighbour. Do you clearly understand what you are undertaking?”
It is so easy to routinely say; “Yes” but this “Yes” should be a real commitment, i.e. your genuine commitment to faith, and at the same time, your trust in the help of the Lord and his Church.
On this occasion let me also outline some important things you should earnestly do as a part of your preparation:
- Registration with the parish office, and attending the baptismal preparation course and learning about the meaning of baptism,
- Choosing practicing Catholics as Godparents (at least one Practicing Catholic is necessary). Our parish requires that those godparents will need to present a letter of recommendation from their pastor unless they belong to our parish.
- Strengthening your faith or recommitment to faith (e.g if it was not your practice to go to church regularly on Sundays, you consider to return to the practice. Our Community will welcome you with joy.),
- For a Catholic Parent a good sacramental confession is a very good way to renew one’s faith together with daily prayer and a pious reading of the Bible,
- If your marriage has not been yet blessed in the Catholic Church, thus constituting obstacles to receive worthily the Holy Communion, you should contact the pastor to plan for your marriage ceremony in the church. The Pastor will help you to do it in the way it will not be a grave burden for you. Here is also a reminder that a Catholic has a moral obligation to have his/her marriage blessed in the Church as a Sacrament established by the Lord.
Dear Friends in the Lord, I wish you all the best in your preparations, I pray for the Lord’s blessings upon your Family. Let me end with a prayer you may use to bless your child/children in preparation for his/her baptism:
Heavenly Father, in your love you have called us to know you, led us to trust you, and bound our life with yours. Surround our son/daughter ____ with your love, protect him/her from evil. Fill him/her with the holy spirit and receive him/her into the family of your church, that he/she may walk with us in the way of Christ, and grow in the knowledge of your love. Amen.
Fr. Jaroslaw “Yarek” Dziuba SDS
Find out about:
- The Role of Godparents
- Baptismal Preparation Courses & Dates