Guest post by Joe Sales
This is the second in a series that Joe is doing for VirtuousPla.net on the Blessed Sacraments. His first post was on Reconciliation, “Feeling Clean“.
In this posting, I would like to discuss the Sacrament of Baptism. We as Catholics are called to take the step of Baptism which is opening the door of the church. When I say opening the door of the church, I say it because it is the first Sacrament of our faith and but it is also the first sacrament in time but also in priority.
The other Sacraments depend on this first step of initiation. In the 3rd chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus makes it clear to us that Baptism is a necessity for salvation. In this scripture, Jesus is speaking to Nicodemus and says, “Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” For Catholics, the Sacrament of Baptism is very important step in our faith journey. It brings us into new life with Christ. By this, we realize that it is the mark of a Christian.
Thinking back to my baptism…Oh wait a minute, I can’t remember that far back. I was only an infant at the time. However, I have heard stories of what it was like, and it was a lovely celebration of being welcomed into the Catholic community of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Chatham Ontario, Canada. Unfortunately, I don’t recall seeing any photos but I have seen my original baptismal certificate and the candle that was given with it. Just being able to see this proof of me being welcomed into the Catholic community was very exciting.
The liturgy of Baptism for Catholics makes clear reference to Baptism as not only a symbolic burial and resurrection but an actual supernatural transformation. In various Christian traditions, Baptism happens by submersion, immersion, affusion, or sprinkling. Each Christian community has their own views in regards to the topics of Baptism.
Baptisms are really awesome to watch. Throughout the years I have seen many Baptisms take place both as an Altar Server and a member of the congregation. From 1993 to 2005, As an Altar Server, I have taken part in many Baptisms.
In the Catholic Church, there are two forms of Baptism. These two forms are infant and adult. In most cases, you will see Infants being baptized. An adult baptism is considered conditional. A Conditional Baptism can be performed if there has been doubt in regards to whether or not the adult has been baptized or not. Adults can be baptized after proper instruction in the faith. The Church usually sees Adult baptisms take place as part of the RCIA process (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). If an adult baptism takes place, it usually takes place during the Easter Vigil when new people are received into the Catholic faith.
I remember at my very first Baptism as an Altar Server, It was an exciting time because it felt like I was playing an important role. In fact, I was playing an important role because I was helping the Priest at the time. In my early years of being an Altar Server, I even remember wanting to become a priest. However that is a story that can be saved for another time.
If you have any questions about Baptism or maybe you’re interested in joining the Catholic Church, I encourage you to speak to the Priest and/or Pastoral Minister of your local parish. There are also plenty of great resources online as well. You can also check out your local Catholic bookstore.
In researching the topic of Sacrament of Baptism, I really learned a lot. I found out things that I never knew or maybe had forgotten about. I hope you will have learned something from this posting.
In closing, I would like to leave you with these words which are mentioned in the Rite of Baptism: This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen
Joe Sales, is an Educational Assistant with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. He has a college diploma through the St Clair College’s Developmental Services Worker program at Thames Campus. He is also a loving husband, blogger, and loves to serve God through Word and Action. Joe was born and raised in Chatham Ontario, Canada. He currently resides in Waterloo Ontario with his wife. During his spare time, Joe is a strong advocate for people who have disabilities. Joe also speaks to groups and conferences across the province of Ontario and other locations as well. Joe’s faith as a Roman Catholic is very important to him. Joe also has a passion for technology and new media. If you would like to check out Joe’s blog, it can be found .