Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5
In his dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus taught that Baptism was necessary for salvation. “No one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit” (Jn 3:5). After his Resurrection, Jesus met with the eleven Apostles and gave them the commission to preach the Gospel and baptize, telling them, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved” (Mk 16:16).
The word baptism in its origins is Greek and means “immersion” and “bath.” Immersion in water is a sign of death and emersion out of the water means new life. To bathe in water is also to undergo cleansing. Saint Paul sums up this truth when he says, “You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead” (Col 2:12).
The origin and foundation of Christian Baptism is Jesus. Before starting his public ministry, Jesus submitted himself to the baptism given by John the Baptist. The waters did not purify him; he cleansed the waters. “He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake . . . to begin a new creation through the Spirit and water” (St. Gregory Nazianzen, Liturgy of the Hours, I, 634).
Jesus’ immersion in the water is a sign for all human beings of the need to die to themselves to do God’s will. Jesus did not need to be baptized because he was totally faithful to the will of his Father and free from sin. However, he wanted to show his solidarity with human beings in order to reconcile them to the Father.
By commanding his disciples to baptize all nations, he established the means by which people would die to sin—Original and actual—and begin to live a new life with God.
The process for infant baptism is very important, yet very simple. For first-time parents, there is a baptism preparation class to give you more detailed information. To get the process started, follow the steps below:
- There are some important decisions that need to be made before your child’s baptism, namely choosing godparents. Before you select godparents for your child, please refer to our link for choosing godparents. There you will find a Sponsor Eligibility Form that is required for godparents to complete.
- After you have thoroughly read the information, the next step is to complete the Baptism request form. You may fill it out electronically and email it to the parish office or call the parish office for assistance completing the form (419-468-2884). Over the course of the conversation we will ask basic information about your child, his/her parents, his/her future godparents. Please have this information ready. The conversation typically takes ten minutes.
- There is a DVD and workbook that we lend to parents to better understand the sacrament. You can pick this up at the parish office or we can mail it to you.
- After you have finished watching the DVD, contact the parish office to set up your meeting with a deacon.
- The final step before the baptism is to meet with the priest. He will finalize all of the details for the baptism and answer any questions that you may still have.
When a child of teachable age is to be baptized, a process of preparation is provided for the child, according to his or her age and ability. Please contact the parish office for more information.
Adult baptism follows the ancient order of the catechumenate. This rite, also referred to as RCIA (the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) offers a person a period of months to inquire and receive information about the Christian life, while regularly attending community gatherings with others who are likewise interested in joining the Catholic Church.