BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION
Becoming Catholic (RCIA)
Christ’s words, His deeds, His life – there’s something about them that tell us that this is the Truth. There’s something in Him, something about Him that can’t be found elsewhere in all the world. His life was truer and freer than any other that’s ever been seen or spoken of.
He was free in a way that we long to be. He had no fear of what the world could do, of what the world could take away. He knew he had something that couldn’t be taken, and it made Him free.
He had something of limitless value, and He was free to give it away.
And this, He said, was something that’s meant for us, a gift freely given. This was what He offered, what He promised us, a different kind of life – full, uncompromised, and uninhibited – Resurrected Life.
For those who want this for themselves or just want to learn more, there’s something here for you. It’s called the Rite of Christian Initiation, in particular for those who seek it as Adults. We call it RCIA for short.
RCIA is a process focused on helping you to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ by integrating you into our vibrant faith community. Wherever you are in your faith journey, we would love for you to join us in learning more about Catholicism. For more information, please email our RCIA Intern, Margo Tucker (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you would like to be Baptized, contact the RCIA program coordinator at email@example.com for further information.
“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
When do Baptisms take place at Saint Paul’s?
Adult Baptisms take place during the Easter Vigil.
Infant Baptisms normally take place on any Sunday that is convenient to the family and does not conflict with the student ministry at Saint Paul’s. The Catechism of the Catholic Church recommends that children be baptized within the first weeks of their birth. Please contact Fr. Eric Nielsen to schedule a Baptism for your child.
Can my child be Baptized at Saint Paul’s?
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 Saint Paul’s. We recognize that some alumni may wish to return to have their infant baptized at Saint Paul’s, but due to the good witness of children being baptized in their home parish, we currently only allow infant baptisms for canonical members of the parish.
What are the requirements for Godparents?
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.
All Godparents must sign the Godparent Oath Form. A Baptism Form and Godparent Oath Form are required for the Baptism to take place at Saint Paul’s. Please bring these forms with you on the scheduled Baptism date.
What is Confirmation?
On the day of Pentecost, those who had come to believe in Resurrection Life received an anointing, a blessing that marked them, which took the form of flames descending from heaven. They had had already been baptized and even encountered the Risen Lord. But there was still something more that God wanted to give them, something they needed. The anointing they received on the day of Pentecost was a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit.
On the day we were baptized the Resurrected Life was born within us when God the Father, Son, and Spirit came to dwell in our Soul. We’re not saved just for our own sake. God has a design, a purpose, in which he wants every believer to share.
We have a Mission, each of us, one unlike any other, and it will take more than we have in us to accomplish it. We need union with the same Spirit that animated Jesus, and so we’re given Seven Gifts that make our souls suited to his presence.
In the sacrament of Confirmation we renew the vows of Baptism, and we make a pledge to live out this Mission. The sevenfold gift itself is bestowed through a tangible experience, an anointing with balm scented oil blessed at Easter. If we’re disposed to receive it, it can be, as it’s meant to be, a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit.
To prepare ourselves to receive these Gifts and live out this Mission, we undergo a period of learning, prayer, and purification. It’s the same process by which new believers prepare for baptism and non-catholics prepare to be received into the Church. It’s called the Rite of Christian Initiation, in particular for those who seek it as Adults. We call it RCIA for short.
What are the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit?
Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord
Where can I learn more about Confirmation?
Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1302-1303
How can I be Confirmed at Saint Paul’s?
If you would like to be Confirmed, contact the Confirmation program coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.