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Saint Paul University Catholic Center

How to Enter the Catholic Church

A group of catechumens receiving a blessing at the Easter Vigil

Infant Baptism

Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called. The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.

Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.

The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.

– Catechism of the Catholic Church #1250-1253

Baptisms normally take place on any Sunday that is convenient to the family and does not conflict with the student ministry at St. Paul’s.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church recommends that children be baptized within the first weeks of their birth.

To be baptized  a child is to have at least one Godparent.  A Godparent must be a confirmed practicing Catholic of at least 16 years of age.  If the child has a second Godparent, it is to be of the opposite sex.  You may also choose in place of a second Godparent to have  a Christian Witness, which would be a non-Catholic baptized Christian 16 years of age or older.  We require all Godparents to fill out a Godparent Oath form.

St. Paul’s does not have any requirement to attend a class in order to have your child baptized.  All canonical members of the parish, that is students, recent graduates, faculty, and staff of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, have the right to have their children baptized at St. Paul’s.

If you are not a canonical member of the parish, and wish to have your child baptized at St. Paul’s, we will be happy to accommodate you.  However, we will require you to complete whatever requirements your natural parish has for infant baptism and obtain that pastor’s written permission.

You are welcome to approach any of the resident priests at St. Paul’s with questions or to schedule a date.  Please fill out the Baptism Information Form and bring it to the baptism along with a Godparent Oath form for each Godparent.