By Fr. Brian Lynch

Baptism is one of the seven sacraments. Sacraments are “efficacious signs” set up by Jesus to share God’s life and love with us. “Efficacious” means that the sacraments “do what they signify.” For example, Baptism looks like a washing with water, and in Baptism, sins are “washed away.”

Everyone who has faith in Jesus and has not yet been baptized is eligible for Baptism and encouraged to seek it. Such a person is called a catechumen. In the case of infant catechumens, faith in Jesus is provided by the Church in general and the parents and godparents in particular. As a consequence, we require that parents are registered at a parish (preferably Our Lady of the Prairie; for exceptions talk to Fr. Brian Lynch) and godparents must be practicing Catholics. Those who are not practicing Catholics but function in the role of godparents during the Baptism ceremony are called Christian witnesses. (No distinction is made between godparents and Christian witnesses during the ceremony.) At least one authentic godparent is required. If there are two godparents or a godparent and a Christian witness, one must be a man, the other a woman.

Each sacrament has a minister who performs the sacrament. At Our Lady of the Prairie, either Fr. Brian Lynch or Deacon Bob Raleigh is the minister of Baptism. The essential component of Baptism consists of the priest or deacon immersing the catechumen in water or pouring water over the catechumen’s head and invoking the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Baptisms are performed on the second and fourth weekends of the month after the 4:15 p.m. Mass on Saturday and after the 10:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday. (For alternate times you will need to communicate directly with Fr. Brian Lynch.) The one and only way to request a baptism at Our Lady of the Prairie is to speak with Fr. Brian Lynch in person after a Mass you attend on Saturday or Sunday. At that time, Fr. Brian Lynch will try to understand your particular circumstances and get the preparation process started.

You are encouraged to look at additional resources about Baptism, including the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 251-265, which can be found at this link:

Sacraments of Christian Initiation