Baptism

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door that gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism, we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God. We become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church, and are made sharers in her mission: “Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and the word.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213

The Sacrament of Baptism

Baptism is the first of the sacraments of initiation into the Catholic church. It makes us adopted children of God, incorporates us into Christ, pardons all our sin, and forms us into God's people. It confers a permanent relationship ("character") with Christ and his Church which lasts even should one cease to be an active member of the Catholic community. For this reason a validly baptized Christian is never re-baptized and has the right to a Christian funeral.

Bishops, priests and deacons are the ordinary ministers of baptism, although anyone with the right intention may administer the sacrament in case of imminent death. The words for conferring baptism in the Latin Church are: "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".

Christian Initiation of Children

Baptism of infants takes place within the first few weeks after birth in the parish Church. It is highly desirable that baptisms take place during Sunday Eucharist when the parish community is assembled for worship. It is important to recall that this sacrament is a church and not a family celebration, that the parents must have the intention of raising the child in the Catholic faith and that both parents and godparents are to be instructed on the serious responsibility they take upon themselves when they present their children for baptism.

Parents are asked to register and attend a Baptism Preparation class offered every third Tuesday of the month from 7-9pm in the parish hall. Baptisms are usually held every first Sunday of the month at the 11am and 12:30pm Masses.

Christian Initiation of Adults

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults [RCIA] is the way adults come to learn about and experience the Christian life, specifically our Roman Catholic tradition, and become initiated into the life of our Church through the celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: baptism, confirmation and eucharist. The RCIA is not something new. It is a return to the earliest traditions of our Church which took place between the second and the fifth centuries of the Christian era! The RCIA takes place step by step in the midst of the Christian community. The whole community is called to reflect upon the value of their faith, to renew their own conversion, and by their example, to lead those who are searching to be open to the presence of the Spirit in their lives.

The RCIA begins with a period of inquiry and maturing. This is a time for hearing the first preaching of the Gospel and of prayer. The end of this period is marked by the first stage or step which is celebrated by the whole community: "The Rite of Becoming A Catechumen". The second period is called the Catechumenate. This is a time of more intense preaching and teaching of the Gospel, prayer, spiritual direction, catechesis - the handing on the specific Roman Catholic traditions and personal contact with members of the larger Christian community. This period ends with "The Rite of Election" when the catechumens are ready to respond totally to God's call of faith through the sacraments of initiation, baptism, confirmation and eucharist. The third period takes place during Lent. It is a time of purification and enlightenment or illumination for a more profound spiritual preparation. Its focus and conclusion is the Easter Vigil celebration and the sacraments of initiation. The final period takes place during the Easter Season. The newly baptized are able to deepen their experience of the sacraments and of being new members of the Christian community.

If you are interested in becoming a Catholic, contact the parish office via email or call 416-231-6016. Click here to visit our RCIA page.

  Baptism at Our Lady of Sorrows

 

The baptismal font at Our Lady of Sorrows
The baptismal font at Our Lady of Sorrows

 

The Parish Community at Our Lady of Sorrows celebrates the sacrament of Baptism at Sunday Masses with the support and appreciation of those who regularly attend. This form of celebration allows the parish community to provide prayerful support to the newly baptized and their parents through the Sunday Eucharist. It is not the mind of the Church that Baptism be celebrated privately (individually) but as a true celebration of initiation into a particular parish community. While there will certainly be occasions when Baptism is celebrated individually, such occasions are not the norm.

Now and again, former parishioners or the adult children of current parishioners ask to celebrate Baptism at OLS. It is sometimes possible to accommodate them at one of the regular Sunday celebrations. However, for this to take place, the written permission of their parish priest is required; parents will also be expected to complete the Baptism preparation program of their own parish.

When parishioners ask to have another priest or deacon celebrate the Baptism of their child, they will normally be invited to celebrate the Baptism in the parish to which that priest (deacon) is assigned.

The office staff will assist you in these matters.

In welcoming you, your child, family and friends, we ask you to keep the following carefully in mind:

  • seats are reserved only for parents and godparents;
  • family and friends may find a place within the assembly;

Photography/videography is not permitted during the celebration.
Parents, please inform your guests!

Parents and guests may remain after the Mass to take pictures at the font. 

Who can be a sponsor (godparent) at Baptism?

A person to be baptized is always assisted by a sponsor (godparent) at the celebration. A sponsor also helps the baptized person to lead a Christian life in keeping with the promises made at Baptism and to fulfill faithfully the obligations inherent in it.

There is only one male sponsor or one female sponsor or one of each.

To take on the role of sponsor a person must:

  • be designated by the one to be baptized, by the parents or the person who takes their place, or in their absence by the pastor or minister and have the aptitude and intention of fulfilling this function;
  • have completed the sixteenth year of age;
  • be a Catholic who has been confirmed and has received the Eucharist and who leads a life of faith in keeping with the function to be taken on;
  • not be the father or mother of the one to be baptized.

A baptized person who belongs to a non-Catholic community participates only with a Catholic sponsor and is a Christian witness of the Baptism. One who is not baptized cannot stand as witness at Baptism.