Baptismal Preparation Program
And “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’”(Mk 10:14). With these words Jesus emphasized both his great desire to welcome all who approach Him – especially children – into a relationship of his love and also that his love draws all to the Kingdom of Heaven. Seeking to make these welcoming words of Jesus present in Cheshire today, the parish of St Bridget extends in the name of Jesus the same welcome to all who bring their children to be baptized.
As Baptism is the first of the three Christian Sacraments of Initiation, (initiation into this relationship of Jesus’ love, it is aptly characterized as a sacrament of WELCOME where Jesus Christ through the ministry of His Church receives us as his adopted brothers and sisters. Baptism incorporates us into Christ and forms us into God’s people. This first sacrament pardons all our sins, rescues us from the power of darkness, and brings us to the dignity of adopted children, a new creation through water and the Holy Spirit. Hence we are called, and are indeed, the children of God.
Baptism is also referred to as the door to life and to the kingdom of God, which Christ offered to all, that they might have eternal life. He later entrusted this sacrament and the Gospel to his Church, when he told his apostles: “Go, make disciples of all nations, and baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Baptism is therefore, above all, the sacrament of faith by which, enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we respond to the Gospel of Christ. That is why the Church believes that its most basic and necessary duty is to inspire all catechumens, parents of children still to be baptized, and godparents, to the true and living faith. Parents are the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith and the parish community of St. Bridget stands ready to assist them in understanding that responsibility and to support them in ensuring that the faith formation of the baptized child will continue after baptism
As one part of that commitment the parish has established a Baptismal Preparation program whereby a member of the Pastoral Staff will meet with parents at their convenience (prior to the baptism) to initiate their instruction and to begin a relationship with them to support the continued faith formation of the child. Parents should call the parish office to schedule a meeting prior to the date of the Baptism. They may either participate in a group session held monthly or request a more convenient time. Expectant parents may choose to attend prior to the birth.
(Some text above is extracted from the General Instruction Regarding Baptism of Children)