Holy Baptism is
the basis of the whole Christian life,
the gateway to life in the Spirit,
and the door which 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 made sharers in her mission:
"Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water and in the word." (ccc 1213)
The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized
(Acts 16:15,33; 18:8; 1 Corinthians 1:16).
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1252)
The blessing you give your child by having him or her baptized cannot be matched. It is through this sacrament that the seed of faith is planted which you, as parents, are called to nurture into fullness. Trying to give your child faith without baptism or allowing them to "choose for themselves when they are older" is asking something so very hard of them. In order to believe in something, one must have a concept of that thing. Baptism is when that concept is first placed within your child's very soul, making your job easier (not easy, but easier) because you now need only to cooperate with what God has already done!
Since baptism is such a great gift, it is the Church's responsibility to make sure you fully understand what you are undertaking. In having your child baptized, you are making a vow before God to raise him/her in the Faith. Therefore, first-time parents are asked to meet with the priest or deacon before their baby is baptized. These meetings are usually only an hour and both parents are asked to attend. Single parents should bring a family member.
If you are thinking of Godparents prior to this meeting, please keep in mind that one sponsor (Godparent) needs to be a baptized, confirmed Catholic in good standing. Baptisms can be celebrated during Mass (except during Lent), after the 5:00 Saturday Mass, or after 10:30 am Mass on Sunday.
At age seven a child is considered to be at the age of reason, meaning, he can understand enough to participate in the decision of being baptized. If a child has not been baptized by this age and wishes to be (praise God!), you and the child will meet with the Pastor and the Director of Religious Education to prepare.
If you have found the love and salvation of Jesus Christ as an adult and wish to enter into the life of a Christian, we welcome you!
The Church has a structure for helping you learn the facets of the Catholic faith and prepare to enter into the Church through a process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Participation is for those seeking to join the Catholic Church or those who are baptized Catholics but not yet confirmed. This group meets at St. Benedict's or St. John's in Woodland every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. from Sept. thru May. People seeking to join the Church just need a desire to learn and an openness to the process. RCIA sponsors and staff must be baptized and confirmed Catholics with a willingness to share their faith. If you are interested in joining RCIA and/or being baptized, please talk to the Pastor or contact the parish office.