Baptism

“Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. Through Baptism, as with the other six Sacraments, we encounter the Living Christ in his passage from death to new life. By this encounter, we are freed from the power of sin and death, become members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and so rise to new life and to a new way of living.

For questions relating to Baptism at St. John’s, please contact Jan Shaw: 410-964-1425 x324 or jan.shaw@sjerc.org

Baptism for Adults

People who have decided to explore becoming Catholic go through a process called RCIA – The Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. This process is for those who have never been baptized as well as for some of those baptized into other Christian denominations. We gather regularly throughout the year on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am (after the 9:00 Mass at WL, before the 12:15 pm Mass at WL). We are usually done at 12:00 pm. For more information, please contact Deacon Paul Gifford at paul.gifford@sjerc.org

Baptism for Youth (grades 7-12)

For more information, please contact Scott Miller: 410-964-1425 x316 or scott.miller@sjerc.org

Baptism for Children (grades 4-6)

RCIA for Children is a process for welcoming children of catechetical age (4th-6th grade) into the Catholic Church. For more information, please contact Consuelo Petro: 410-964-1425 x325 or consuelo.petro@sjerc.org

Baptism for Infants through age 8 years

Congratulations on the birth of your baby! The community of St. John the Evangelist rejoices with you and your family. We are delighted that you have chosen our parish for your child’s Baptism. This is the first step on your child’s journey of faith. Therefore, we are committed to making the celebration of the sacrament of Baptism very special and meaningful for you and your family. We are also committed to helping you in every possible way as you raise your child in our faith.

The Sacrament of Baptism is a public statement of our commitment to become more Christian on a daily basis. Baptism is as much a Sacrament for the parents and faith community as it is for the infant. Since Baptism constitutes only the beginning and foundation of a Christian life, parents, by asking to have their child baptized, are really making a commitment to instruct their children in the Faith.

Baptism Procedures 

For all questions relating to Baptism at St. John’s, please contact Jan Shaw 410 964-1425 x 324. If this is your first child to be baptized, you must attend a Baptism Preparation Class. At least one parent must attend this meeting. Both parents and godparents are encouraged to attend. 

  • Please complete the online Baptism registration form or call Jan Shaw at 410-964-1425 x324.
  • After your Baptism Registration is received, a Baptism Prep Class will be set up via the Internet. Please call the Jan Shaw to register for the class: 410-964-1425 x324.
  • The Sacrament of Baptism takes place the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month at 2:00pm.

The 2020 dates for infant baptisms are:

  • January        12, 26
  • February      19, 23
  • March           8, 22
  • April              26
  • May               10, 24
  • June              14, 28
  • July               12, 26
  • August          9, 23
  • September   13, 27
  • October        11, 25
  • November    8, 22
  • December     13, 27

Questions you may have about Baptism

What is Baptism?
“Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church) It is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation, the other two being Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist. Through Baptism, as with the other six Sacraments, we encounter the Living Christ in his passage from death to new life. By this encounter, we are freed from the power of sin and death, become members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and so rise to new life and to a new way of living.

When should we have our baby baptized?
We encourage parents to present their children for Baptism as soon as is reasonably possible after their birth. Therefore, it is a good idea to contact the parish prior to the baby’s birth so that Baptism can be scheduled in a timely fashion. However, we also realize that situations in life don’t always allow for Baptism to happen shortly after the birth of a child, and we will welcome children or adults of any age who
want to be baptized. Baptisms are primarily celebrated on scheduled Sunday afternoons or, if necessary, as scheduling permits.

Who can be godparents?
Godparents should be faithful people who are baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Church. Church law requires that at least one godparent is a full member of the Catholic Church. It is possible for the second godparent to be a member of another Christian Church. If you have questions regarding godparents, please speak to one of the priests or deacon at St John’s. When choosing godparents, it is important to consider the responsibility of a godparent, namely, people who will support the parents in bringing this child up in the Catholic Faith and who will be a good role model for this child.

The Day of the Baptism
Please plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before the time the service is supposed to begin. Let the priest know you have arrived. St John’s will provide a white garment (bib) and the Baptism candle.

Is a white dress or suit required?
No. A white garment symbolizes that your child has become a new creation in Christ in the waters of Baptism. Most families have a garment (dress or suit) that they have chosen for their child.

Can we use cameras and videos at Baptism?
Cameras and videos are allowed. However, the people taking photographs during the Baptism are asked to be courteous and not obscure the view of others. Please refrain from taking additional family photos until after the service has ended. The priest will be available after the ceremony for additional pictures.

What is the usual donation for a Baptism?
Payment is not required to receive a Sacrament. If you choose, you may make a donation to the parish. The usual donation is $75-100. A check may be made payable to ‘St John’s” with “Baptism” written on the memo line. The check can mailed to St John’s at 10431 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia, MD 21044

Baptisms outside St. John’s parish

If you are registered parish member, but plan to have your child baptized at another church, you must meet the requirements for Baptism at St. John’s. Once these requirements are met, we will send a letter to the parish where the child will be baptized, affirming that you met our requirements and giving permission to have your child baptized outside of your home parish. Please contact the office 410-964-1425 or jan.shaw@sjerc.org with your name and address, child’s name, church of Baptism name and address, priest’s name, and the date of Baptism. The letter can be mailed to you or directly to the church of Baptism.