Parish of Balbriggan

Congratulations to you and your family on the birth of your child, and welcome you to the celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism. Baptism is the first step of your child’s journey to God. During the celebration, you will be promising to bring up your child in the knowledge of God as a loving Father. You are making your child part of the wide Christian family, and this is why the link with the parish and the rest of the Church is so important before, during and after the celebration of Baptism. It is the first of the three Sacraments of Initiation (the other two being Holy Communion and Confirmation). Once baptized, a person becomes a member of the church. Therefore In Ballyroan Parish, the child is greeted at the front door with parents and godparents, they are named and traced with the sign of the cross and brought forward to be welcomed by the church community at the 12 noon mass. The baptism takes place after the mass.

For Catholics, this Sacrament is not a mere formality – it is the very mark of a Christian since it brings us into new life with Christ.

Ballyroan Baptism Team has been set up to help you better understand and prepare for this occasion. A member of the team will contact you and organize a preparation meeting in your home, during which the symbolism of the ceremony and any questions you may have will be addressed. The celebration of Baptism can be a wonderful opportunity for you as Parents to renew your own commitment to Christ and renew your efforts in the Christian life. Our wish for you is that you may always be examples of inspiration to your child by the way you live your lives!
Godparents
The Godparents will be undertaking to share with you the responsibility for handing on the faith to the child as he/she grows up, so choosing the right ones is a matter of great importance. They should be people to whom your child can look for Christian example and have made their confirmation. A child may have one Godfather and one Godmother. At least one of the Godparents must be a catholic. A baptized member of another Christian denomination may act as a Christian witness.

 

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The Sacrament of Baptism is sometimes called the ‘Door of the Church’ because it is the first of the seven Sacraments given, in terms of both timing and priority since receiving the other Sacraments depends upon it.

 

 

If you wish to have your child baptized, please meet up with Fr. Danny after mass on Sunday and he will take it from there or call or email the parish office.  Baptisms are held once a month with an additional ceremony over the Christmas and Easter. Because of a ‘Ballyroan Baby Boom’ we have to apply a ‘resident parishioner rule’ so that we facilitate our new parishioners. Those living outside the parish should contact their parish, as Baptism is an entry into a local Christian Community

Thinking about Baptism

Shortly after becoming Pope in 1978 John Paul II made an historic visit to his homeland. His pastoral journey took him back to his roots – his native parish where he had been born and raised. There he was pictured in a small, remote rural church gazing prayerfully into an old stone baptismal font. The caption underneath told everything -’This is where it all began.’
As parents, family and friends you are rightly rejoicing this day in the birth of your child. God has blessed you with the precious gift of a child of your own. Now you want nothing short of the best for him/her. In presenting your child for baptism you are formally requesting his/her entry into God’s family. The local Christian community or parish is God’s family as far as each of us is concerned.
The belonging that we celebrate in Baptism, psychologists say, is everyone’s goal.  Baptism offers the challenge to the Christian families and communities of creating ways to welcome and walk with everyone, including strangers, people of diverse backgrounds, and those whose mistaken sense of their identity leads them to seek belonging through inappropriate or destructive behaviour.
Giving birth is said to be an experience, parenthood a way of life. One passes, the other never ends. It is like that with the sacrament of Baptism – the conferring is an experience for your child, the sacrament never ends. And you are part of the sacrament, the major part. You strengthen them for life.
You are waiting for the Holy Spirit to come to your children.  You also bring the Holy Spirit to them.
You are like Mary with the apostles, waiting in prayer and expectation for the first Pentecost. All because you want your child to be the best he or she can be! If you could choose, would it be a doctor, teacher, a student or would you go further and ask for ‘happy’ ‘thoughtful’, ‘decent’ ‘honourable’, ‘wise’ kind, ‘thoughtful’?
Is your ultimate desire that he/she be something or a certain kind of person ? This is an occasion for asking questions about your values the things you consider important.
Baptism is parents day too. All the gifts you wish for your child you need for yourself. Over the next number of years you will need an abundance of wisdom, understanding, right judgement, courage and so on.
It is a scary time. We are told often enough it is a terrible world. But fear is a pre-baptism word – your children are not afraid. Don’t frighten them. Prepare them. Innoculate them. Arm them. Strengthen them and support them.
You have much to offer your children, parish and community. This baptism time is an occasion for reviewing your relationship with God and with your community.
Don’t underestimate the power of example. – doing the right things, going to mass and passing on the faith.
Remember what they say about rules. They are laid down in childhood, flouted in adolescence and re established in adulthood. Faith is like that too.

Nature of Faith

 

Faith is not something abstract or magical. Neither is it something that is automatically poured into the child’s soul through the waters of baptism. Rather it is our day to day responding to God’s call as we journey through life. It is something eminently concrete and practical. We see it being manifested daily in the lives of ordinary people especially those burdened by the trials and tribulations of life. All of us know people of deep faith – our parents, grandparents …We are grateful for the formative influence they have had on us. We cherish the values that guide and inspire them – kindness, gentleness, goodness, patience faithfulness, self control, self sacrifice Galations 5:22. We admire the kind of life they led. We long for that spirit of wisdom and perception which has helped them to negotiate their way through the ups and downs of life. We want our child to share the same values and ideals as s/he grows up and goes forth into the world.

 

Training our children in the ways of faith

Children as we know are particularly adept at imitating their parents in a wide variety of ways. They talk like them. They imitate their mannerisms. The same holds true when it comes to the ways of faith. Children grow in faith by coming into contact with people of faith. You child will grow in faith only if you are people of faith. Faith is contagious. – it is caught not taught.

If we are not people of faith the seed of faith sown in baptism will come to nothing. The precious gift that God makes available to us will have fallen on the edge of life.

 

Our own personal faith-commitment

The faith which is presupposed at infant baptism is the parents faith, the godparents faith, the faith of the whole Christian community. In most instances it is a faith which is far from perfect, it is a struggling, stammering faith in constant need of nourishing and strengthening. Our own personal faith is nourished and sustained through contact with people of faith Sunday after Sunday when we come together to worship as the Lord’s family. It is there that we are exposed to the signs of faith. We come not just to be nourished ourselves but to nourish one another as well through our presence and participation…. By absenting ourselves regularly from Sunday Mass we are cutting ourselves off from the signs of faith and weakening the whole faith-fabric of the believing community. ..

Our faith is further sustained and nourished by our own personal and family prayers. During the celebration of the sacrament of baptism you will be reminded that ‘as parents you will be the first teachers of your children in the ways of faith …. you must also be the best of teachers, ‘ Your children will be people of faith only if they grow up in a household of faith.

Faith by its very nature cannot be static. It cannot stand still. It must either grow and mature or wilt and wither….

“There is just one way to bring up a child
in the way he should go
and that is to travel that way yourself.” Abraham Lincoln

 

We may bring our children to the waters of baptism but what will it profit them if we abandon them there ?

The making of a Christian is a life long process…

God Parents

From the Code of Canon Law

 

Choosing a sponsor/godparent

This is a twofold purpose:-

1.    To assist the parents in discharging their duties as Christian parents.
2.    To be a model of Christian living to the child in question.

Hence some people may not be suitable as godparents.

 

Code of Canon Law:

873 One sponsor is sufficient, but there may be two.

874 A sponsor must be:

•    not less than 16 years of age (exceptions can be made by Bishop, parish priest.)

•    be a catholic who has been confirmed and has received the blessed Eucharist, and who lives a life of faith.

•    a baptised person who belongs to a non-catholic ecclesial community may be admitted but only in company  with a catholic sponsor and simply as a witness to the baptism.

 

“The greatest day in the life of a pope
is not his coronation but his baptism,
the day of his mission
to live the Christian life
in obedience to the gospel.” 
Cardinal Suenans

Things To Do

 

You will need to complete the following to ensure that your baby’s baptism is a joyful occasion for your family and the church:-

 

•    Book the date and time through the Parish Office where you will be asked to fill in the Baptismal Registration Form
•    Get a Baptism Candle (it is normal to have a separate one for each child)
•    Arrive at the church on time.

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Dates for Baptism

 

Dates and times for Baptisms as follows: for the next three months

  • November – 1st Thursday 5pm
  • November   – 4th Sunday during 12 mass.
  • November Saturday 10th (4pm)
  • November Sunday 18th (2pm)
  • November Saturday 24th (4pm)
  • December   Sunday 2nd (2pm)
  • December Saturday 8th (4pm)
  • December Sunday 16th (2pm)
  • December Thursday 27th (2pm)

Further dates will be added for January soon.
To book your baptism, or for any queries, please contact Anne in the parish office –  01–8412116 or   balbrigganparishoffice@gmail.com