WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Baptism is the first of the seven Sacraments that we receive in the Church. Along with the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Eucharist, they are called the Sacraments of Christian Initiation. Baptism initiates us into the Life of Christ in His Church. It is the gateway to our life in the Holy Spirit and the door which gives access to all of the other Sacraments. In Baptism, we are “reborn” as children of God, made members of the Mystical Body of Christ and made sharers in His mission.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF BAPTISM?
Baptism removes the penalty of Original Sin which all of us have inherited from Adam and Eve. It also effects the forgiveness of all personal sin, and makes us “a new creature”—an adopted child of God, brought into communion with the Blessed Trinity. At Baptism, sanctifying grace is poured into the soul of the baptized and he/she is infused with the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope and Love.
The Lord has taught that Baptism is necessary for salvation, for it is in this Sacrament that the power of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection is dispensed to us.
WHO MAY BE BAPTIZED?
Anyone, not yet baptized in any other Christian denomination that uses water and the Trinitarian formula to confer this Sacrament, may be baptized, as long as there is “a well founded hope” that the person will be raised in the Catholic faith.
WHO CAN SERVE AS SPONSORS OR GODPARENTS?
Although we usually use the terms “Godfather” and “Godmother”, the correct technical term for an adult who stands with the parents at Baptism is “Sponsor”. Only one sponsor is required and that person must be a practicing Catholic in full communion with the Church. This means that the person faithfully attends Holy Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation, supports his/her parish, and, if married, has been validly married according to Church Law. If the parents would like to have two sponsors, one is to be male and one female. If one sponsor is named, another person who is not a Catholic can serve as a “Christian Witness”, although, a person cannot serve as a “Christian Witness” if he/she has left the Catholic Church to join another Christian denomination.
Sacramental Sponsor Form and Cover Letter in PDF format.
WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Parishioners who would like to have their child baptized at Saint Leo the Great Parish are requested to call Father Hahn at the Parish Office (717) 394-1742 to personally schedule an appointment to discuss this great Sacrament. Parents must be registered members of St. Leo’s Parish.
Parishioners will also need to fill out our registration form: Baptism Registration Form in PDF format.
Normally Baptisms are celebrated on the first Sunday of each month, after our 11:00 A.M. Mass, or approximately at 12:15 P.M.